Colby Covington’s persona has drawn the ire of a good handful of fighters. Some of those are his own teammates at the American Top Team in Florida.
ATT owner Dan Lambert apparently has had enough, and decided to impose a new policy on trash talking within his gym.
”It’s gotten personal, and I think I was wrong,” Lambert told MMA Fighting. “I think I made a mistake. I think I should have nipped it in the bud, and it’s gotten to the point where it’s trickled down where it affects coaches, it affects training partners, it affects vibes at the gym, and as a result, we’ve adjusted and come up with a new policy.
”Unless you have a bout agreement to fight someone, in which case there obviously needs to be some promotion, there’s a gag order on talking about people at the gym. If that’s something a fighter chooses they need to do, then they have to go train somewhere else.”
Covington drew notoriety when he first came out with his newfound brash persona against Brazilians in 2017. While he let it slide at the time, Lambert took responsibility when it got out of hand.
“I basically handled it by bringing everybody in the gym together and saying, look, this happened,” he explained. “This is the way Colby’s choosing to promote himself – it happened outside the the gym. Brazilians might think he’s a f—ng a—hole. You both might be right, you both might be wrong. Not my problem. In this gym, you’re all ATT. If you have a problem in the gym, we deal with it. Outside the gym, that’s your problem.
”I thought that was the proper approach at the time, and in retrospect, I see where it’s gone.
“I think part of it just might be that I’m such a pro wrestling nerd; I kind of like the promotional side of it and the trash talk,” Lambert said. “It’s on me. I f—d that part up. I should never have let it get to that point. It’s my job to stop sh-t like that from happening and causing distractions in the gym. I think I made a mistake on that one, so live and learn.”