Featured | Written by:
CouchFighter | Published in: Fighters
Colby Covington, a former Thurston High wrestler and alumni of Oregon State University, was impressive in his first outing as a pro at Midtown Throwdown III in Eugene, Oregon. Covington, a two-time Pac-10 Wrestling Champion at Oregon State University and NCAA All-American took on Chris Ensley, a freelance fighter from Lebanon, Oregon.
Colby was kind enough to take time out for this exclusive interview.
Can you describe your winning sequence of moves that got your first pro win?
Colby: Well, I was on the ground and I got into a scramble and I came with like a spinning back elbow, and I caught him and I hit him in the body once and... I don't know, he said his knee was hurting and he said "Ohhh, my knee!" and I was about to start punching him in the face but I got pulled off (by the ref). They said it was a tapout/submission win but I not sure what they'd classify that as... I think he just didn't want any more punishment.
Your opponent was Chris Ensley who had over 20 pro bouts already. Did you feel any extra pressure going into your first pro fight, especially going up against someone with that much experience as a pro?
Colby: No, not really. I train with the best guys in the world and I have the best trainers in the world so...they prepare us day in and day out to be ready for anything. I'm prepared in every aspect of the game so my Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling... it doesn't matter. It's just another man I'm competing against and I have to do whatever I can do to get my hand raised at the end of the day.
I know sometimes, fighters with an impressive background like yours (Pac-10 Wrestling Champion and NCAA All-American) have trouble finding equally experienced fighters willing to step up and fight. Do you have any indication that you might have that problem for future fights?
Colby: Yeah, I think it's gonna kinda be like that. It's unfortunate because we're in the MMA game. It's like, you're in this for fighting... why would you want to back out to preserve your record? I'm not going to back down from anybody. You know, it's been real hard... I've been down here in Florida trying to find fights all over the place and I've had seven fighters back out. So it's been hard getting pro fights but I'm grateful to Chris Ensley for being willing to step up to the plate so I could get my pro debut out of the way. So I know it's going to be hard having my background to find fights but hopefully it works out so I can start building on this.
You train at American Top Team out of Coconut Creek, Florida. That's one of the top gyms in the country. Can you tell us about how you ended up with them?
Colby: Well, as soon as I had gotten done with the NCAA tournament, I knew I wanted to do MMA since I had been training ever since I was off to college. So one of my coaches, Troy Bennett out of Iowa Central, got on the horn and talked to me. He was my main coach when I was at Iowa Central Jr. College and he's been a mentor to me. He got me out there and gave them the word... and I went out there and tried it. I liked them and they liked me and I've been down here ever since.
Are you fortunate enough to be able to train full time?
Colby: As of right now, I'm training full time.
You're fighting out of Florida but you have ties to Oregon. Would you prefer fighting in the Northwest where you would have a good fan base from your college wrestling days?
Colby: You know, I take the fights where I can get them. It was nice to be able to come back to the northwest where I lived and I have roots, but wherever there's a fight, I'll take it anywhere. I just want to get experience, build up cage time, and work on getting better.
I'm sure a lot of the bigger name promotions are keeping an eye on your career now. How many fights would you like to get before you feel ready to move up to one of the larger promotions?
Colby: I'm not really worried about how many fights I'm going to get until I get there. I want to be a world champ, I want to be the world's best. If I had to take a fight next week, I'd be ready and I'd train, but whenever my trainers feel that I'm ready, then I'm ready. I'm not scared to fight anybody. So whoever they put me up against in any promotion, UFC or anywhere, I just want to fight the best guys. I have dreams of being the number one guy in the world someday and that's a serious goal of mine.
Do you know when your next fight will be?
Colby: No... hopefully soon. I don't like to take a long layoff. If I could fight every month, that would be awesome. Hopefully I can get something lined up here shortly.
Are there any of the big name fighters you'd like to face or feel that you'd match up well against?
Colby: I don't know. I haven't really thought about that much. I just want to continue to get better and whoever I end up going up against... that's who I'll go up against.
Is there anybody you'd like to thank for getting you ready for this fight or helping your career to this point?
Colby: Yeah. I want to thank all the people that have helped to get me where I've gotten. Troy Bennett from Iowa Central, he's been crucial part of getting me to where I'm at. My Mom's helped me out a lot. Of course, American Top Team... Ricardo Liborio my head instructor, he's the guy that's kind of been in my corner and gotten me to where I am and where I'm gonna go. Jorge Masvidal is a good friend and training partner and mentor. And everyone that's helped me so far and that are going to help get me to where I want to go.
Colby looks to have a bright career in MMA and is definitely a young prospect worth keeping an eye on.