- Colby Covington, a MAGA-hat wearing UFC wrestler who drapes the American flag over his shoulders, wants to salvage an MMA show this weekend.
- UFC Fight Night 171 was supposed to take place at London's 02 Arena but travel restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic meant the event could not take place in Britain.
- The UFC boss Dana White said the show must go on and could take place in the United States instead.
- Enter Covington, who wants to fight his compatriot Tyron Woodley in the main event. "Who wants [to] see America's champ put the MAGA cape on and beat the f— out of Woodley?" Covington wrote on Twitter.
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An American wrestler wants to "put the MAGA cape on and beat the f— out of" opponent Tyron Woodley to salvage a UFC event this weekend.
The UFC is currently scrambling to put together a show on Saturday, March 21, which it had intended to stage at London's 02 Arena.
Travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which has affected the UK with 1,543 confirmed cases to date, nixed the show in Britain, affecting many of the athletes on the card.
UFC boss Dana White has been insistent that, for the company, the show must go on. He previously said he had spoken to the US President Donald Trump and doesn't think there's any point panicking about the coronavirus. He vowed that his events would continue.
The UFC is one of only a handful of major sporting events still going on amid widespread shutdowns because of the virus.
It is unclear where the UFC Fight Night 171 event will take place, or who will participate.
"The fight can't obviously continue in London, but it will go on," White said, according to the BBC. "We are working on finding a new venue, likely to be in the United States, and I have my matchmakers working on putting the undercard together."
One athlete ready to top the card in the main event is Colby Covington, a 32-year-old wrestler who wants to grapple with his compatriot Tyron Woodley.
The former UFC welterweight champion Woodley was supposed to take on English fighter Leon Edwards but, when told of the event relocation and the coronavirus which has been gripping the world, Edwards was reluctant to travel to compete.
"With such a short window of time, nothing was viable," Edwards said on Instagram. "Myself and my team are all fathers, husbands, sons and brothers, and not all of us can leave our families right now."
Woodley, meanwhile, said he is in "pure murder mode" and ready to fight this weekend, MMA Mania reported.
'The UFC and America need a hero'
Enter Covington, who is looking to use Woodley and the UFC Fight Night 171 event as a way to bounce-back from his December loss to Kamaru Usman in a UFC welterweight championship bout in Las Vegas.
Covington was looking stronger with every fight, like a potential champion-in-the-making who was polarizing MMA fandom because of a character he plays where he dons MAGA-hats and talks affectionately about the Trump family.
But a heavy defeat to Usman, in which his jaw was brutally broken, halted his trajectory to the top.
Now he wants to soar once again.
"The UFC and America need a hero," Covington wrote on Twitter when he had learned Edwards was no longer featuring in the main event.
"Who wants [to] see America's champ put the MAGA cape on and beat the f— out of Woodley live on ESPN next week for your entertainment and my own personal pleasure?"
It is not known if Covington can make weight at the 170-pound limit, whether the UFC would select him as an opponent for Woodley, or if the UFC Fight Night 171 show can even go on because of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Twitter, Woodley said Covington was all cap, no action. "He wants clout," Woodley said, dismissing the fight.
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