Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Now that Colby Covington is no longer beholden to a promise to American Top Team owner Dan Lambert that he wouldn’t engage in trash talk with his teammates, the former UFC interim welterweight champion is going scorched earth on several fighters from his former gym.
Covington announced on Wednesday that he had departed the Coconut Creek, Fla.-based team after he was first recruited to train there out of college. Prior to his exit, Covington had engaged in a very public war of words with several of his teammates — most notably fellow welterweight contender Jorge Masvidal and former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier.
According to Covington, both fighters made constant complaints to Lambert, which only further inflamed an already volatile situation inside the gym.
“A lot of people were sensitive, namely “Doufus” Dustin [Poirier] and “Street Judas” [Jorge] Masvidal,” Covington told MMA Fighting. “They had feelings. They don’t want to fight me in the cage. They’d rather go cry to Dan Lambert and beg him to protect their precious little feelings cause if they fight me in the cage, they know what’s going to happen. I’m going to tear them limb from limb.
“I’m not in the feelings business. I’m in the money making business. I’m in the Colby Covington business. That’s why this was the biggest thing. I’m Colby Covington Inc. now. I’m no longer affiliated with a team. I’m my own team.”
Lambert eventually told everybody training at American Top Team that the trash talk had to stop unless two of them were scheduled to face each other. Disregarding the rule could lead to expulsion from the team but that didn’t stop Covington and Masvidal from continuing their hostile war of words.
Covington was also at odds with former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk after they exchanged words in several interviews.
“The best way I can put it — Joanna “Jordaycheck” is a c**t. Dustin “Doofus” Poirier is a b*tch and Jorge “Street Judas” Masvidal is a p*ssy,” Covington said. “And Jorge running all these narratives to the news ‘oh he’s my teammate, I can’t fight him.’ Guess what? I’m not your teammate no more. I’m not your roommate but I’m still your f*cking daddy, b*tch. So what’s your excuse now, Jorge?
“I’m ranked higher. I’ve got a better record. I’m more relevant. Why won’t you fight me now? Want to know why he won’t fight me? Cause I’m still his f*cking daddy. Cause I give him spankings.”
Covington says the tension with Masvidal and Poirier really ratcheted up over the past few months with verbal confrontations constantly taking place in the gym.
This past December, Lambert said in an interview with MMA Fighting that while he absolutely disliked when teammates were warring with each other, he understood the nature of the fight business might lead to that. His one rule, however, was leaving all of that bad blood outside the gym when it was time to get to work.
“If you asked me to give you my top-five list of people at our gym that respect our gym the most, Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal and Dustin Poirier are going to be on the list,” Lambert said at the time. “When Jorge came to me and said, ‘I don’t play like that, it’s going to get ugly,’ I looked at him and said, ‘respect the f*cking gym, Jorge.’ He kind of looked at me like, ‘F*ck.’ Cause Jorge respects the gym big time.”
As the disdain between them continued to fester, Covington claims that respect faded away and he actually ended up in shouting matches with Masvidal and Poirier in the gym.
“The last six months, I’m going into ATT and Dustin or Jorge are in there, they’re screaming across the [gym],” Covington said. “I’m like let’s go. You want to fight, let’s fight right now. Stop talking this sh*t, creating drama in the gym so they have to make a decision like this or have to do a drastic action.
“But no, they just want to scream in front of coaches and disrupt all the pro fighters training because they don’t respect Dan and they don’t respect ATT. It’s pathetic.”
While it’s highly unlikely that Covington will win any popularity contests with fight fans any time soon, he alleges that Masvidal and Poirier are far from the people they portray in public life.
“They get such a good rap in the media, like these are just such good guys but no one knows these people off the cameras,” Covington said. “On the cameras, they play good guys but off the camera Jorge and Dustin are pieces of sh*t and the lowest scum of the Earth. Dustin started a charity for a tax write off and he wants to claim he’s such a good guy. How are you a good guy for starting a charity for a tax write off, you fraud. You piece of sh*t. Jorge, same sh*t. You’re out here talking about ‘oh I’m the dine and dash king, I run out on these single mothers from Denny’s who are trying to put food on the table for their single parent families’ and he’s claiming to be the king of that.
“The guy’s the biggest, lowest denominator of scum in the entire world and I pray to God, they f*cking let me get locked up in a cage with him. Cause he knows what’s going to happen. I will break his face. I will rip him limb from limb and he will never be the same person ever again. I promise you that. He will need a psychiatrist after I’m done with him.”
Despite his split with the gym, Covington maintains a personal relationship with Lambert, who he calls a second father to him but ultimately he’s happier apart from American Top Team than he was with them. With plans to build a training camp around him going forward, Covington says this move was ultimately a “blessing in disguise.”
He also welcomes the chance to settle old grudges with Masvidal or Poirier now that there’s no longer any kind of bond between them. A title fight rematch with Usman would be at the top of his wish list, but if Covington can’t get that, then he’s more than happy to turn his attention to a fighter he once called a friend.
“There’s just something so intriguing about this fight with “Journeyman Street Judas” Masvidal,” Covington said. “He’s been running this big game like he’s so f*cking tough. Like he’s Miami’s gangster. Guess what, b*tch? I run Miami. I’m the king of Miami. I run 305. I’m Mr. Worldwide. We can do it every single day. I promise you, this ain’t just talk, if I see that guy in the street, he’s getting slapped the f*ck up and dropped on his head and he knows that. Deep down inside, he knows he can’t stop me so all the bullsh*t narrative that Jorge Masvidal and Dustin “Doofus” Poirier had in the media before ‘oh Colby’s my teammate, I can’t fight him.’ Guess what, b*tch? You ain’t got nothing to say.
“Direct your complaints at me. All you f*cking snowflakes directing your feelings at Dan Lambert, a multi-millionaire businessman. You’re f*cking grown ass adult professional cage fighters and your precious little feelings are hurt and you’re going crying to f*cking Dan Lambert? Guess what, b*tch? I’m the head of the complaint department not Dan Lambert. I don’t give a f*ck about your feelings or your complaints. Come see me in the Octagon but you ain’t going to do that cause you’re f*cking scared.“