There was a point in time when Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal were good friends and two of the biggest names at the famed American Top Team facility in Florida. That all changed in mid-2020 when Covington parted ways with his long-time stable because of strained relationships with some teammates.
“Chaos,” however, was still in the gym when he began feuding with Masvidal in 2019. And according to ATT owner Dan Lambert, it came to a point when even he was unable to keep things under control.
“Yeah, it got toxic. And it got to the point where it was affecting the gym,” Lambert told MMA Junkie in a recent interview. “We’ve had lots of fighters in this gym over the last 25 years where there are people that love each other and people that don’t like each other.
“But we’ve always been able to separate that, keep some professionalism in the gym and not let it affect the team.
“Their situation just got to the point where it was affecting people inside the gym and I couldn’t keep it under control. At one point, we had to tell both of them to leave.”
Masvidal did say he was once “kicked out” of ATT for trying to “assault” Covington. Now, “Gamebred” gets to lock horns with Covington at the headliner of UFC 272 on March 5th. And Lambert recognizes the magnitude of this grudge-filled matchup.
“Personal grudges aside, it’s a huge fight,” he said. “You’ve got two of the best fighters in the world in one of the best divisions in the world going at it. They’re high-level guys.
“Take away Kamaru Usman as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Jorge, he hasn’t lost a fight since 2017. Colby hasn’t lost once since 2015. Big implications in the rankings for this and just big implications in MMA, overall.”
UFC 272 will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Set to co-headline the event is a lightweight fight between former champion Rafael Dos Anjos and Rafael Fiziev. Also on the card is a featherweight bout between Edson Barboza and the undefeated Bryce Mitchell, as well as the welterweight return of Kevin Holland who takes on Alex Oliveira.
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