Colby Covington remains the most hated man in the UFC, but on Sunday he has a chance to reign supreme over the welterweight division.
Covington has continually got under the skin of both opponents and fans thanks to his strong ties to the Trump family.
Never seen without wearing his red 'Make America Great Again' hat, Covington isn't afraid to talk the talk and has even attracted the Trump family to attend UFC events.
Ahead of his welterweight title showdown against champion Kamaru Usman, the man himself made a rather shocked admission on The Candace Owens Show where he admitted his persona was an act to keep him in the UFC, news.com.au reports.
"I've never told this story before but three fights ago, before I fought the No. 2 guy in the world, this guy named Demian Maia in Brazil, they had told my manager Dan Lambert that they weren't going to re-sign me," Covington said.
"They didn't like my style, they didn't like that I wasn't entertaining. This is before I really started to become an entertainer and really understand the entertainment aspect of the business.
"Before this fight, they told me no matter what happens, I was ranked No. 6 in the world, we're not re-signing you, we don't like your character, we don't like your fighting style.
"So I go out there and I beat him up and leave him in a pool of blood in Sao Paulo, in his home city. I shoot this promo on the Brazilians and say, 'You guys are all a bunch of filthy animals and Brazil you're a dump.'
"That promo goes so viral, that the UFC's like, we have to keep him, we have to re-sign him because that promo is so big. So that's what saved my career and that was the turning point of my career. The rest has been history."
The surprise admission from Covington caught fellow fighters by surprise who were quick to call him out for the act with his opponent, Usman, ripping into him.
"This is him trying to make excuses why he's going to get his a** kicked on Sunday," Usman said during the UFC 245 athlete panel.
"He's already come out and said, 'Oh, this is just an act.' I don't give a (expletive). He came out and said, 'They were going to cut me, so it's just an act.' You (expletive) nerd. It doesn't matter. After you get your a** kicked you can do whatever you want to do. I don't care."
Kamaru Usman vs Colby Covington — welterweight
Max Holloway vs Alexander Volkanovski — featherweight
Amanda Nunes vs Germaine de Randamie — women's bantamweight
Marlon Moraes vs Jose Aldo — bantamweight
Petr Yan vs Urijah Faber — bantamweight
Geoff Neal vs Mike Perry — welterweight
Ketlen Vieira vs Irene Aldana — women's bantamweight
Ian Heinisch vs Omari Akhmedov — middleweight
Matt Brown vs Ben Saunders — welterweight
Chase Hooper vs Daniel Teymur — featherweight
Brandon Moreno vs Kai Kara-France — flyweight
Jessica Eye vs Viviane Araujo — women's flyweight
Punahele Soriano vs Oskar Piechota - welterweight
WHEN AND WHERE IS IT?
UFC 245 will be at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which has also hosted UFC 235 and UFC 239 in 2019.
The event will start at 12.15pm NZT with the main card starting at 4pm NZT on Sunday December 15.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
The final three fights of the night will be world title fights. Amanda Nunes will take on Germaine de Randamie for the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship, before Max Holloway defends his featherweight title against Australian challenger Alexander Volkanovski.
The main event is Kamaru Usman looking to defend his UFC Welterweight title against Colby Covington.