UFC's Colby Covington Parts Ways with American Top Team Gym: 'I'm My Own Team'

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 27, 2020

Kamaru Usman, right, fights Colby Covington in a mixed martial arts welterweight championship bout at UFC 245, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

The No. 2 ranked welterweight fighter in UFC has left one of the sport's most notable gyms. 

Colby Covington told ESPN's Ariel Helwani on Wednesday he is no longer affiliated with American Top Team gym.

"I'm affiliated with Colby Covington, Inc., as of now," Covington said in a video interview. "I'm my own team."

The split follows a growing disconnect between Covington and fellow ATT fighters which led to gym owner Dan Lambert to institute a "zero trash-talking policy" unless fighters have agreed to a bout. Covington had been going back-and-forth with the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Dustin Poirier and Joanna Jedrzejcyk. 

Lambert, who had been serving as one of Covington's agents, has now stepped down from that role. 

Covington explained further:

"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 got 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, 32, has been out of the Octagon since falling to Kamaru Usman via technical knockout in a welterweight title fight at UFC 245 last December. 

He says he's hoping to get his new gym set up in South Florida in the near future, but offered Helwani few details. 

At 10-2 in UFC, Covington is still looking for his next contract. He told Helwani he'd like to face either Masvidal or schedule a rematch with Usman. 

In the meantime, he'll be training on his own and calling all the shot. 

American Top Team gym still has a loaded roster of fighters with the likes of Tyron Woodley, Junior Dos Santos, Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Amanda Nunes. 



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