Colby Covington has made it his mission to irritate or otherwise anger almost every fighter, fan and promoter in the sport. But who is he behind closed doors, when the cameras stop rolling and the microphones are no longer wired for sound? We talked to those closest to him to find out.
For nearly 20 years, American Top Team has produced a bevy of champions and top contenders for organizations such as the UFC, Bellator, PFL, RIZIN and numerous others across the globe.
A visit to the main academy in Coconut Creek, Fla., gives you an instant reminder of the gym’s incredible success. A multi-level glass case filled from top to bottom with championship titles greets you almost immediately after walking through the doors.
Take a few steps further into the cavernous gym, and you’ll see wall-to-wall mats, multiple cages, weight machines, treadmills and a full array of heavy bags for boxing drills. The most noticeable decoration, however, are the scores of high-level athletes who call the Florida-based gym their home.
A huge number of those fighters travel from halfway around the world for the opportunity to work at American Top Team, not to mention the dozens of mixed martial artists who have uprooted their entire lives to relocate to Florida full time, just for the sake of training with this particular set of coaches and athletes.
On most days, one of the fighters almost always pouring sweat onto those storied mats is former UFC interim welterweight champion Colby Covington.
To the outside world, the 31-year-old title contender, who fights in the UFC 245 main event, is one of the most hated men in all of mixed martial arts, the human equivalent of a YouTube comments section.