POKER

New UFC welterweight champ Colby Covington eyes poker next

TAGs: Colby Covington, UFC, WSOP

UFC fighter Colby Covington took to the octagon last Saturday to square off against Rafael dos Anjos in the UFC 225 event. After five rounds, Covington was awarded the victory by the judges and crowned the new interim welterweight champ. The Oregon native now plans to trade gloves for cards, at least for the mean time, and has announced that he will participate in July’s WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas.

UFC welterweight champ Colby Covington has high poker ambitionsCovington isn’t exactly a novice player at the felt. He has been on the scene since 2012 and has racked up just over $40,000, according to the Hendon Mob. In June of that year, he finished seventh at the $110 WPT Regional in Coconut Creek, FL for $9,935 and, three months later, took first at the $100 NLHE Everglades Poker Open in Hollywood, Fla. Since then, he has continued to pick up some cash here and there, and this year he has three money finishes–two at Seminole Hard Rock and one at the Lucky Hearts Poker Open where he placed third.

Covington told MMA News, “Hopefully I make it through like day four or five so I can make it on the ESPN broadcast. But I’ll definitely be representing the UFC at the World Series of Poker.”

The 30-year-old fighter will now take off for Hawaii to undergo intense poker training before returning to Las Vegas for the big game. In an interview with BJPenn.com, he said, “I want to be the first two-sport world champion in poker and fighting, and eventually pro wrestling and WWE. I love playing Texas Hold ‘Em. I love playing tournaments and big cash games, high-stakes cash games.”

Several fighters have taken a stance at the Main Event, but none made it to the money. In 2008, Forrest Griffin and former lightweight champ Chuck Lidell entered the tournament, only to be sent to the rail before reaching a payday. In 2012 and 2013, former welterweight champ George St. Pierre took a seat, falling on Day 1.

While he may not be a contender to go until the final round, Covington at least has more experience under his belt than those fighters that have gone before him. If he doesn’t make it to the final table, it won’t be too surprising; however, his presence will certainly make things interesting.

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