Colby Covington spent more than $1,200 out of pocket to fight Bryan Barberena

From the second he got out of the octagon at this past Saturday’s UFC on FOX 22 event, Colby Covington was criticizing his performance.

As he passed by press row at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif., he told MMAjunkie he hadn’t been able to train for the past four weeks due to a torn MCL (via Twitter):

He did not look happy backstage. Asked about a unanimous-decision victory over welterweight Bryan Barberena (12-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) on the event’s FS1 prelims, he dismissed his work.

“It doesn’t feel that good, to be honest,” Covington (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) said. “It doesn’t feel satisfying. I didn’t fight to my full potential tonight.

“I knew I came here to get a finish, and I didn’t get a finish, so plain and simple, I’m not happy with my performance.”

Covington admits he’s his own worst critic. He trains with a former world champion Robbie Lawler and a bevy of other UFC standouts at the renowned American Top Team camp in Florida. When he doesn’t live up to his potential, he’s particularly hard on himself.

“I don’t think I fought how I know how to fight, but I still came in here and got a fight when you didn’t see me at 100 percent,” Covington said. “You didn’t see me at my best tonight. You saw me probably at 60 or 70 percent. There’s definitely something to take away from it, and I definitely gained a lot of experience tonight.”

For the last four weeks of camp, swimming was all Covington could do to keep in shape. A week prior to the fight, though, he was still limping. In a last-ditch effort to get better, he paid for platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment and ozone injections.

The treatments are popular among athletes for recovery, but they’re not cheap.

“The PRP injection was $600,” he said. “The ozone injection was $600, so I spent $1,200 out of my pocket just to get here tonight.”

Surgery is now a possibility, though the 28-year-old fighter will consult his doctor to see if the knee injury might heal itself.

Fights with Dong Hyun Kim and Gunnar Nelson are of interest when he gets healthy. His main takeaway, though, is that he’s not going to repeat his experience.

“I’m only going to step in here if I’m healthy,” Covington said. “I already gave up one loss with a fractured rib, and I want to come here healthy and I’m going to get that belt.”