Colby Covington Reveals He’s Left ATT, Jorge Masvidal Reacts
Former interim UFC welterweight champion Colby Covington has parted ways with American Top Team (ATT), after training there for almost a decade.
Speaking to ESPN‘s Ariel Helwani, Covington revealed that he has moved on from ATT and is on his ‘own’ as of now.
“I’m affiliated with Colby Covington, Inc., as of now. I’m my own team,” Covington claimed.
In 2011, ATT owner Dan Lambert recruited Covington in part because of his impressive wrestling skills. However, there have been consistent reports of ‘Chaos’ getting into bitter feuds with his well-known teammates, such as Jorge Masvidal, Dustin Poirier and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. So much so that Lambert had to introduce a ‘zero tolerance policy’ on trash talking in March.
“I felt bad because of Dan in that situation. For months, he’s coming to me, ‘Dude, you’re putting me in a tough situation. Everybody wants you out. You’re making the gym uneasy.’ And I didn’t want to do that to him. I didn’t want to make his life tougher than it already is. He already has enough on his plate.
“I felt like it was the best for me to move on, find some other coaches, find some other training partners and go about my business how I go about my business. The biggest thing is that we’re in America. Are we not entitled to our own opinion, don’t we have free speech?”
Covington didn’t open up much on his new gym setup, but said that the wheels were in motion.
“Good things take time to develop,” Covington said. “Things are being put in place. I’m putting a lot of hard work in behind the scenes.”
In his last fight, Covington suffered a fifth-round TKO loss against Kumaru Usman at UFC 245. The spectacular fight was for the UFC welterweight title and earned both the fighters the ‘Fight of the Night’. The 32-year-old hasn’t been able to return to the Octagon since then and claims that he has been “begging” the UFC to book him a fight.
“I’ve been begging to come back and save the sports world, save America,” Covington said. “We’ve gotta see what the UFC wants to do. … You don’t know how motivated I’ve been, how hungry I’ve been, how much I want to rewrite every wrong.”
Covington is now looking forward to his future away from ATT and believes it’s a new chapter in his MMA career.
“I’m done with American Top Team,” Covington said. “We had a great run while it lasted. It was time to move on. The sun sets, the sun rises. It’s a new chapter.”
Covington’s former teammate and friend Jorge Masvidal, didn’t take long to react to the news. Also speaking with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani (as transcribed by The Mac Life), ‘Gamebred’ said that this was the best move for Colby and revealed some of the backstories behind his exit.
“That dude was never part of this team, he was just a f***ing cancer for the past three, four years,” Masvidal said. “At the end of the day, he didn’t feel safe in here. I wonder why.
“I’m not exaggerating when I say this. [The gym] is a temple for me. It’s somewhat of a religious experience being in here since I was a kid. My good days, my bad days, my birthdays. All days I’ve spent in this gym sharpening my tools, so I don’t like to see that animosity — even if he had never said a word about me.
“What type of teammate or man — he’s not a man but what sport are we in that you can insult a woman? Insulted Joanna [Jedrzejczyk], insulted Amanda [Nunes], insulted Dustin [Poirier]. These people are not in your weight class, I get you’re trying to do this shtick that you’re some type of heel but what does that have to do with a woman? A 115-pound woman? A 135-pound woman? Are you going to compete against them? Are you going to sell more pay-per-views because you’re talking about Joanna and Amanda? Answer me that.
“Is that what’s going to happen, ‘He’s talking smack about chicks, I’m going to go buy the pay-per-view’. It just set such a bad example of our team and our sport.”
What do you think about Colby Covington leaving American Top Team?