It ain’t always easy being the bad guy.
Colby Covington has done such a good job of trolling the mixed martial arts world that even his fellow teammates at American Top Team seem to be getting sick of his bulls**t. For a long time, gym unity prevailed. If anyone had issues with Covington, they kept quiet about it in order to keep the peace.
But then Covington committed the ultimate faux pas by predicting Khabib would beat his teammate Dustin Poirier at UFC 242. That led to Poirier calling him a sellout, and then Joanna Jedrzejczyk chided him for ‘shitting in his gym.’ Even longtime training partner and friend Jorge Masvidal got progressively more hostile towards Covington, and Covington returned that vibe right back. The two are in full trash talk mode now.
It got bad enough that Covington was reportedly considering leaving the gym. But in a new interview with Submission Radio, Colby assures us that he ain’t going anywhere.
“Yeah, I’m back in American Top Team officially,” Covington said. “This is the homegrown gym that I started at. I started at American Top Team with Dan Lambert, he recruited me straight out of college wrestling. I’ve never been to another gym except for American Top Team, so this is where I started and this where I’ll finish. I can’t thank the godfather enough, Dan Lambert, for what he does for me and everything that he provides. So, my training goes according to plan so I can keep improving as a martial artist. I bleed American Top Team through and through and I’ll finish my career with them.”
”It wasn’t more about training anywhere else, it was more about just staying away from the distractions, the drama that’s going on at the gym. Obviously, everybody in the gym’s jealous of me. I’ve got a lot of haters in the world, and that’s just how the world is today. Everybody’s hates on people that are doing better than them. I can’t control other people’s feelings if they’re jealous and envious of where I’m at in my career, making more money than them, doing bigger things.”
”So, I was deciding whether or not I just take a little break and just train behind closed doors, you know, at a private gym, just a no-name type gym and just go to American Top Team for sparring or what I was gonna do. But ultimately, Dan Lambert sat everybody down and made sure we’re on the same page and just made sure that nothing’s gonna go down on our gym floors. That’s a sacred ground at American Top Team and you don’t cross those rules that Dan Lambert set forth or there will be repercussions.”
So while things may not be particularly friendly, Dan Lambert is making sure they stay professional.
”I love it, man, it’s more business now,” Covington continued. “Now when I walk in the gym, everybody knows what’s going down, you know. I’m not there to be friends. And I’ve said this since the beginning, guys, I said, I’m not here to make friends, I’m here to make money. So, all these people know that it’s about money for me now, it’s not about the friendships. I’m here to train, put my time in, and get out. That’s what it is.”
”All these guys are too busy being friends with each other and which social media they’re gonna put and how they’re gonna pose on social media. I’m here to win. Win fights and kick ass and get the biggest checks in the sport today. I’m not settling for anything less. And I could care less about anybody else’s feelings, man.”
Covington takes on Kamarau Usman for the UFC welterweight title at UFC 245 on December 14th.