Colby Covington, who will challenge Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight title at UFC 245 on Saturday night, has called American Top Team home for the duration of his MMA career.
Unfortunately, he has made enemies of several fighters at the Florida gym — most notably Dustin Poirier and Jorge Masvidal — which has caused things to become quite tense under its sun-soaked roof.
In fact, Covington says he now trains behind closed doors so that his stablemates turned naysayers don’t leak his activity to his enemies.
“I’m doing stuff behind closed doors now,” Covington told ESPN recently. “I don’t want people to see my training. That’s a big concern of mine. I don’t want people to see the game plan I’m working and how much I’ve improved and the skills I’m developing every single day. You’ll see that on fight night when I step into the Octagon.”
Unfortunately, Covington is worried about more than just loose lips.
He says he actually worries for his safety while he’s training inside American Top Team.
“I don’t feel comfortable,” Covington said. “I feel like I always have to look over my shoulder. I have to watch my back. I don’t know if people are gonna come up and try to attack me. I’ve had people yelling in the gym at me, creating scenes and stuff. It’s not a good environment for me there.”
Luckily, American Top Team owner Dan Lambert doesn’t worry about Covington’s safety inside the gym — yet.
“Colby doesn’t need to watch his back at our gym,” Lambert told ESPN. “He might need to watch his back just about anywhere else he goes as a result of what’s happened. … There’s pros and cons to being who Colby is and that just might be one of the things he needs to deal with moving forward.”
What do you think the future holds for Colby Covington and American Top Team?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/11/2019.