UFC Noche scoring, 4 other controversial moments of 2023

Take a look at five of the most debated moments in MMA during 2023.

Sep 16, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Alexa Grasso (red gloves) and Valentina Shevchenko (blue
Sep 16, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Alexa Grasso (red gloves) and Valentina Shevchenko (blue / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
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Colby Covington trash talking Leon Edwards' murdered father

Colby Covington's return to the Octagon after nearly two years off was memorable, but not for his fighting.

The fight itself was one of the worst title fights in UFC history with Covington baffling everyone by choosing to kickbox with Leon Edwards. However, many still tuned into the pay-per-view event due to its status as the final card of the year as well as the attention Covington brought in with his trash talk during fight week.

No Covington fight would be complete without the back-and-forth chaos that the proud American brings, but many believe the former interim champion crossed the line in his most recent title fight. At the UFC 296 press conference, Covington could not draw out the emotion from Edwards that he desired, resulting in a sickening statement causing the champion to hurl a water bottle at him.

After telling Edwards he would 'drag him to hell,' Covington leaned back in his seat and told the British champion that he would say 'hi' to his father 'while we're there [in hell].' Edwards' brash reaction was understandable to everyone in the arena aside from Covington, as the welterweight's father was murdered when he was 14.

Surprisingly, it was not the first time that Covington attempted nearly the exact same line. Ahead of his UFC 245 main event fight with Kamaru Usman, Covington told the champion that his former coach — Blackzilians founder Glenn Robinson who died of a heart attack the year prior — had died and gone to hell due to Usman supposedly avoiding fighting him.

Despite criticism from the entire MMA media and many fans, including some of his own, Covington decided to double down on his take even after the fight had ended. The challenger accused Edwards' father of being a sex trafficker, saying he only felt remorse for the alleged victims he had affected.

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