Leon Edwards tears up at Colby Covington insult against his late father at UFC 296: ‘It still breaks my heart’

Leon Edwards tears up at Colby Covington insult against his late father at UFC 296: ‘It still breaks my heart’


Leon Edwards was left emotional after his win over Colby Covington at UFC 296 as he reflected upon the American’s pre-fight insults against his late father.

Edwards cruised to a comfortable unanimous decision victory – 49-46 on all three scorecards – to retain his welterweight title at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The Jamaican-born Briton demonstrated his clear superiority in the striking exchanges throughout the five rounds and even out-grappled the wrestling specialist Covington at points during the fight.

The build-up to Saturday’s main event had been heightened after the controversial American insulted Edwards’ late father, who was murdered when the welterweight champion was only 13, at a pre-fight press conference.

Edwards used his post-fight speech to hit out at Covington’s comments and said his dad’s passing still affects him to this day.

“This was an emotional fight for me,” the 32-year-old told Joe Rogan in the Octagon after his win. “This guy used my dad’s death as entertainment, he used my dad’s murder as entertainment. It took a lot for me to calm down, stay focused and come into this fight. I spoke to my coaches, spoke to my mum, and I kind of just shut it down.

“After the press conference, I went backstage, I was crying just with the rage. You can’t use my dad’s death as entertainment, and that’s what he did. To this day, it still breaks my heart that he was murdered. [Covington] said [my dad] should burn in hell. He’s a great competitor but a dirty human being.”

Edwards, known for his controlled and precise fighting style, said he had to be calmed down by his coaches and mother in the aftermath of the comments and found it difficult at times to be restrained in the Octagon.

“It was hard [to control myself]. Even at the weigh-ins I was fuming and shaking,” Edwards said at the post-fight press conference.

(Getty Images)

“I spoke to my mum and coaches and they said, ‘F*** this guy; just focus on yourself – he wants you to come out there and fight emotionally and swing wildly.’

“Obviously what he said was f***** up but I just tried to switch it off and go out there and do my job.”

Edwards has now defended the 170lbs belt on two occasions, with Belal Muhammad and Shavkat Rakhmonov two likely next opponents.

Covington, meanwhile, has lost his last three title fights yet remarkably claimed that he felt he had beaten Edwards on the night.

“I feel great, it was an easy fight. I barely have a scratch on me,” he said, though he did acknowledge that his more tentative performance might have been down to “a long lay-off”.



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