Much has been made about Robbie Lawler’s highly-publicized departure from American Top Team (ATT).
In fact, it seems to be the main source of drama and buildup heading into the former champion’s bout with Colby Covington at this weekend’s UFC Newark. ATT faithful Covington claimed Lawler left the gym that helped make him champion because of a photo. ‘Chaos’ is looking to defend his gym’s honor and leave Lawler in a pool of blood in New Jersey.
True to form, however, Lawler isn’t buying Covington’s over-the-top act, choosing not to let any of it get to him. Lawler’s even praised Covington for building up his name because of his hype game and ATT for being a great gym. That’s essentially protocol for how he’s conducted himself throughout his decorated career. Yet Covington claims it’s all a fake act Lawler puts on for the media.
No matter what he says, Lawler isn’t playing that game. Speaking with MMA Junkie, ‘Ruthless’ revealed the one simple reason he truly left ATT. It was classic Lawler deadpan, to say the least:
“Because I felt like going, like a grownup.”
Not Holding Grudges
His current path in MMA, where he trains at nearby Hard Knocks 365, could be described as much less successful than his days at ATT. But Lawler isn’t lamenting on what’s done. He’s at peace with his decision and isn’t on bad terms with anyone at his old camp. As usual, he’s therefore focused on getting the job done in the Octagon:
“I’m cool with the road I’ve taken and I have no animosity to anybody at that gym,” Lawler said. “I’m just moving forward, growing and getting better.
“It is what it is. I’m not at that gym anymore. I’m at Hard Knocks doing my thing and worried about myself.”
For what it’s worth, ATT founder Dan Lambert seems to agree with Lawler.
So the drama with ATT and Covington is something that the outside world is worried about. The man at the center of it claims he absolutely is not, while Covington insists his true feelings are hidden.
Which side do you believe heading into UFC Newark’s main event?