Covington confirms gym departure: 'It's a blessing in disguise'
UFC welterweight Colby Covington confirmed reports that he's left longtime gym American Top Team.
"I'm not a member of the American Top Team gym in Coconut Creek (Florida)," Covington told theScore. "I'm a member of Colby Covington Incorporated, I am a member of Colby Covington business, Colby Covington team. Everything, this is my team now. You can direct your complaints at me."
Covington (15-3) mentioned that a recent trash-talking ban between teammates, implemented by owner Dan Lambert, was the main reason for his departure. While he didn't mention specific fighters who had complained to Lambert, Covington had been feuding with former teammates Jorge Masvidal, Dustin Poirier, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
"All the people who are going to American Top Team and Dan Lambert and directing their complaints. Up in their feelings, 'Oh I'm a pro fighter but I’m gonna go to Dan Lambert, hey Dan, I don’t wanna fight him in the cage because I know I can’t beat him but Dan, can you protect my precious little feelings?’"
The 32-year-old plans to create his own training camp and will remain in Florida going forward.
"We're still in the process of putting together a team for Colby Covington Incorporated," Covington said. "I have some great coaches around me. I haven't changed my training partners and coaches a lot. I still have a lot of the same training partners and coaches. But we're just on our own time and doing our own thing. And not afflicted with ATT in any way, shape, or form."
Covington added: "It's the best change that could ever happen to me. Sun sets, sun rises. One door opens, another closes. It's a blessing in disguise, I'm really happy for the timing of how everything went down. And more importantly, I respect Dan Lambert more than anybody in the world. That guy will have respect until the day I die."
The Oregon native hasn't fought since losing to welterweight champion Kamaru Usman via fifth-round TKO at UFC 235 in December. Covington doesn't have his next fight booked, although he did mention he's interested in a potential rematch with Usman or former teammate Masvidal.
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