Colby Covington’s list of allies at American Top Team is getting shorter and shorter. After alienating many of the gym’s Brazilian fighters with his previous comments, he’s now at odds with two of the gym’s top fighters in Jorge Masvidal and Dustin Poirier.
Speaking on the latest episode of BJPENN.com Radio, Covington admitted that things have gotten quite tense at American Top Team, and added that the gym’s owner Dan Lambert — also his manager — has become quite exasperated with the state of things.
Given the way things are going, Covington believes there’s a chance he’ll eventually have to leave the gym altogether.
“That’s a very real possibility,” Colby Covington said of a potential departure from American Top Team. “It’s a very real possibility. I don’t know. I think Dan Lambert is a little bit nervous about it. We’ve been having talks the last couple of days and he’s very nervous about it. He doesn’t know what’s going to happen.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Covington added. “I’m always there at the gym. They know where to find me if they want to cause a scene and make friction in the gym. I know Dan doesn’t like that. He doesn’t want that rap.
“That’s the worst part about this, is the rap our gym’s getting; that there’s so much friction in the gym. But everybody knows the results speak for themselves. American Top Team is the greatest gym in the world. We have the best fighters, we have the best coaches and we have the best facilities. So I just hope that Dan doesn’t let the opinion of outsiders influence what we’re really doing. And at the end of the day, people are going to love you and people are going to hate you, man. Just take it all. There’s no such thing as bad publicity. The only bad publicity is no publicity.”
Given the way Lambert feels about the current tension inside American Top Team, you might expect him to encourage Covington to tone things down. Yet Covington says there’s been no such conversation.
“He hasn’t told me to tone it down, but Dan Lambert is the one and only person in this whole entire world that if he told me something, I would listen,” Covington said. “I don’t have a boss. I’m my own boss. But if he gave me advice and gave me a piece of wisdom, I would listen to him because he’s done a lot for me. I wouldn’t be here today as world champion of the UFC and undefeated and undisputed without Dan Lambert. He’s literally gave me the shirt off his back and I’m very thankful to him and grateful to him. And I hope we can make this right, I hope he can understand… He understands psychology, and pro-wrestling, and promotion, and angles and this and that.
“So I hope he understands what we’re doing and what we’re trying to accomplish. But it’s his gym and at the end of the day, he’s going to make the decisions. And whatever decision he makes, I’m going to be okay with that because I trust his decision making and what he wants to do with his gym. Either way, I’m going to keep winning fights. I’m going to keep getting the biggest paychecks in sport. And nobody’s going to stop me. It doesn’t matter where I’m at, I’m the best fighter in the world. And no one’s going to prove different.”
Do you think Colby Covington will stay at American Top Team, or is there perhaps a gym change in his future?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/12/2019.