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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun

Daniel Cormier: Colby Covington has to ‘stand behind his words,’ fight Ian Machado Garry

Daniel Cormier thinks Colby Covington not fighting Ian Machado Garry would be a bad look.

Covington (17-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) accepted Garry’s initial callout, but put some stipulations – which included that his wife Layla be featured in one of his fight prediction videos for his betting sponsorship. The pair have since been going back-and-forth, but Garry is no longer confident that Covington actually wants to fight him.

However, Cormier says the multiple-time title challenger has reached a point where he has to fight Garry (14-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC).

“What does Colby Covington fight for today as a guy who’s fought for championships his entire career? What motivates him? It would seem to be the big fight,” Cormier said of Covington on his YouTube channel. “Does the Ian Garry fight feel like that to him? It should, because competitively, you’ve got to beat the guy that wants to be the up-and-comer because regardless of what you think of Ian Garry, he can fight. It doesn’t matter what you think of someone’s personality or anything. You have to respect the skill level, and Ian Garry has a very high level of skill.

“Colby Covington, after the fight with Leon Edwards, may not be looking forward to being in there with another long, rangy striker. But the actions say: ‘Let’s fight.’ Now it’s time to put pen to paper. They have to fight because when you hurl the insults and you say that man’s name, and you constantly talk about him, his life outside the octagon, when you now start taking personal shots at Colby’s political views, now you’ve got a fight. I believe that International Fight Week works perfect.”

Cormier points to Covington’s past rivals as examples. Covington doesn’t often acknowledge those who call him out, but now that he’s addressed Garry, Cormier wants to see them settle the score.

“When he spoke about Kamaru Usman in weird ways or disrespectful ways, he fought Kamaru Usman,” Cormier said. “When he talked about Leon Edwards, he fought Leon Edwards. When he talked about anyone, he fought him if that was an option. … If you are going to take this role, or play the villain in everybody’s story, the villain always has to get his comeuppance, where he has to step in front of the sword and fight.

“He’s got to step into that battlefield and he’s got to show that he’s willing to stand behind his words. I think that’s where we are now with this Colby Covington-Ian Garry deal. Colby’s got to stand up on his words now and go fight that man. If he beats him, now we still continue to think that he’s in the championship picture.”

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