Colby Covington is no longer training at his longtime gym American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida, but that doesn’t mean he’s leaving his home area. The former UFC interim welterweight champ confirmed his big move to The Score on Wednesday after reports began swirling on social media the day prior that Covington’s name had been removed from American Top Team’s website.
“I am a member of Colby Covington incorporated,” Covington announced to The Score. “I am a member of Colby Covington business, Colby Covington team, everything. This is my team now.”
But don’t expect Covington to leave the Miami-Dade County area anytime soon. The fighter told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani he’s staying put for the foreseeable future.
“Yeah, Florida is still my home,” Covington said. “I still reside in the 305. I’m still the king of the 305. I run Miami.”
Covington believes he can run his own training camps himself and stay right where he is.
“I’m not moving my life just because someone made a decision, you know, and I made a decision,” Covington said. “It’s a new opportunity, and there’s great fighters and great coaches down here. Great training partners. I have a great business. These streets are mine. George knows that. Miami is my home. I’m not going anywhere.”
You can watch the whole clip from Ariel Helwani below.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 27, 2020
The Covington vs. Masvidal Saga Continues
When Covington says “George”, of course, he means former teammate and friend-turned-bitter-rival, “BMF” champ Jorge Masvidal.
The fighters have gone back and forth at each other over recent months, and some believe the two stalwart 170-pounders could be on their way to facing each other inside the Octagon soon.
Then again, with the bad blood between the two men boiling over to the point that now one of them actually had to leave their home gym to find another training situation, it could very well happen on some sidestreet in Miami someday, too.
Because that’s how bad things have gotten, and Covington is only leaving his gym, not the area.
Did Covington Already Find New Home?
It’s not difficult for elite fighters to find new gyms.
According to The Score’s Aaron Bronsteter, Covington leaving American Top Team was “common knowledge” to those in the area and Covington has since taken up residence at MMA Masters in Miami.
I just spoke with Gilbert Burns who said it was common knowledge among those who trained in South Florida that Colby Covington has been training at MMA Masters in Miami for over a month.
Miguel Baeza, who recently defeated Matt Brown, is a notable fighter who also trains there.
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) May 27, 2020
Covington told Helwani leaving arguably the best MMA gym in the world, one with easily one of the best and deepest rosters of UFC talent in the United States, wouldn’t keep the 32-year-old from competing at a high level.
“The Colby Covington Incorporated, you know, we can fly out multiple training partners and coaches, and I’m going to get the best looks around,” Covington said.
In fact, Covington believes the change in scenery will ultimately be a good thing for him.
“And you’re going to see a growth in me, you’re going to see something you’ve never seen from me before, Ariel, in my next fight and the world is going to be shocked.”
Covington Leaving American Top Team Isn’t That Surprising
That Covington is ultimately the one in this whole saga who had to pick up his bags and leave the gym isn’t surprising.
After all, Covington’s many beefs with fellow American Top Team fighters went far beyond his heated exchanges with Masvidal.
Regardless, Covington is one of the best 170-pound fighters in the world today. Wherever or however he trains for his next fight, he’s sure to put on a big show come fight night.
He’s talented. He works hard. He sells fights.
And he knows it.
“I can’t wait to get out there in the Octagon under those bright lights again,” Covington said.
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