A day with Colby Covington, the self-proclaimed 'villain' of the UFC

Colby Covington will face Rafael dos Anjos for the UFC interim welterweight belt on Saturday night in Chicago. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

NEW YORK -- It's just past 8 a.m. and Colby Covington is discussing his sex life.

"I always have one-night stands before my fights. Lose off those last couple of pounds before weigh-ins. It helps me out."

His father, Brad, a sweet and quiet man who lives in Oregon, sits no more than 10 feet away and awkwardly laughs at the exchange. We're at Sirius XM radio for a show hosted by Jim Norton and Sam Roberts. It's stop No. 1 on a media tour in New York City to promote UFC 225.

Covington, the self-proclaimed "villain" of the UFC, will fight Rafael dos Anjos on Saturday for the interim welterweight title. He's gotten to this point based on his talent -- the former All-American wrestler is 13-1 as a professional mixed martial artist -- but also his mouth. Unlike other fighters who believe victories should do all of the talking, he actively speaks to push his brand and move up the rankings.

In this past year alone, Covington called Brazilian fans "filthy animals" after a fight at UFC Sao Paulo. He criticized female fighters for their physical appearance. He had a boomerang thrown at his head in Australia by fellow fighter Fabricio Werdum. He purposely spoiled Star Wars and Avengers endings on social media. He constantly calls out fans for being "Cheetos-eating dorks in their mom's basement."

The 30-year-old has embraced the bad boy role more than any fighter in recent memory. Not even Conor McGregor goes to the levels that Covington does.

Is this real or just for show? I tagged along for more than six hours on Monday to find out.

8:20 a.m. -- Sirius XM Radio, 1221 Avenue of the Americas

Covington arrives wearing black jeans, dark brown shoes and a black suit jacket over a light blue shirt that reads "Colby 'Chaos' Covington -- #NerdBash2018." He's only been awake for a little more than an hour, but his energy picks up the second he goes on air with Norton and Roberts.

"I say what a lot of people want to say, but can't say. I'm just a voice of the people."

Roberts asks a few minutes later if he has any regrets over the things he's said. Covington immediately answers, "No."

"I know where the line is at," Covington says. "I don't ever cross the line. I step right up to it. I put my toes on the line, but I don't ever cross that line. There are some barriers you just don't cross -- you don't talk about religion, you don't talk about race. Those are lines I will never cross."

Topics later shift to his opponent this weekend ("Ralphie Dos Nachos"), his former roommate at Iowa Central Community College, Jon Jones ("one of the fakest dudes I've ever met") and commentator Joe Rogan ("when I see him face-to-face in Chicago I don't know what's going to happen").

Roberts closes the segment by listing Covington's rivalries in the sport and asking listeners to tune in this weekend.

"It's going to be a spectacle," the fighter says. "I'm the bad guy. I'm the super villain. But this is real life. Super villains and bad guys win in real life."

9:30 a.m. -- Elsewhere Espresso, East 6th Street

In the elevator after the Sirius XM interview, a member of the UFC tells Colby he's set to meet with a reporter from the New York Post. When it's noted that the publication has been reported as President Donald Trump's favorite, Covington says "Oh yeah? That's good because it's time to make MMA great again."

The coffee shop originally picked for the interview isn't open on Mondays, so the group heads to "Elsewhere Espresso" a few streets away. Covington orders a green tea while waiting for the reporter to arrive.

The interview lasts about 30 minutes before we all head back to the SUV. Inside, Covington talks about his love of wrestling and the potential for Brock Lesnar to return to MMA.

"I would like to see him back in the UFC."

10:45 a.m. -- WFAN, 345 Hudson Street

Just before leaving the vehicle, the UFC representative mentions to Covington he may see Yoel Romero at WFAN. The Cuban fighter, taking on Robert Whittaker in the main event on Saturday night for the middleweight championship, was wrapping up a similar interview to promote his fight.

"We used to be on good terms, but I'm not sure he likes me anymore," Covington says. "I've s--- on a lot of fighters he's trained with."

Romero does in fact leave WFAN while we are in the building, but he and his team go straight for the elevators instead of seeing Covington a few feet away in the lobby. Covington says he thinks it was on purpose to avoid talking to him.

Moments later we're escorted into a studio for a taping of the "Outside The Cage" with Ike Feldman and Pete Hoffman.

Feldman mentions conditioning being a major factor this weekend as Covington will need to fight for potentially five rounds instead of three.

"It's a five-round fight, a main event fight," he says. "I really had to work on my cardio this camp.... I'm on the Ric Flair diet. Limousines, fast cars, lifting weights and ... girls."

He's asked about his love for professional wrestling and how that has influenced his persona.

"I always admire the promotional side behind it. Sprinkle in a bit of pro wrestling in MMA is good. You get the fans talking. They want that drama."

He closes the interview by saying he's coming out on Saturday to rapper 50 Cent's song "Many Men" because "Many men are wishing death upon me."

12 p.m. -- Palm Restaurant, 206 West Street

We take a break for lunch in Tribeca, where Covington orders grilled salmon. His dad proudly shares stories of traveling the world for his son's fights, mentioning his favorite was a trip to Singapore.

Covington spoke about his love of travel and detailed more of his experience in Sydney, Australia, last November when Werdum threw a boomerang at his head.

"The worst part was having to come right back home. I flew for something like 26 hours just to get there."

As we left the restaurant, a cameraman from TMZ rushed over to interview Covington about his fight with dos Anjos.

"His career is going to be over," he says. "All of the fans are hyping him up. After I beat him, they're all going to turn on him and say he was a washed-up lightweight."

1:15 p.m - One World Trade Center, 285 Fulton Street

Our last interview of the day was cancelled, so we had some time before his flight later that afternoon. Covington wanted to check out the new One World Trade Center building and the National September 11 Memorial.

He took some time to read the names engraved on the site, and then pulled out his phone for an Instagram Live session with his fans.

While he did that, I asked his father if it's strange to hear that so many people think negatively of his son.

"It is. I'll admit, I was nervous if we had to go back to Brazil," Brad Covington says, seemingly a bit apprehensive about the whole situation. "But Colby was willing to do whatever it took to get to the championship. He was willing to sacrifice everything to go down there and prove he's the best fighter in the world."

When the camera is not on Colby, he appears to be a fairly quiet person; It's clear he's someone who simply knows how to play the game. Ruffle some feathers, get people talking, draw attention to himself and the UFC.

That, plus winning in the Octagon, will get him where he wants to go.