A staple at American Top Team, Thiago Alves witnessed everything between Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington.

Masvidal (35-15 MMA, 12-8 UFC) and Covington went from best friends to foes and will settle their grudge match in next Saturday’s UFC 272 headliner at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Alves, who has cornered Masvidal on numerous occasions, confirmed the beef between “Gamebred” and Covington (16-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) is real. And naturally, his loyalty lies with his longtime gym.

“Being at American Top Team for such a long time, I saw everything play out,” Alves told MMA Junkie Radio. “When Colby came to us, he came straight out of college. He had no MMA experience, and we pretty much put Colby where he is right now until the last two fights where he was training at another organization (MMA Masters). And Masvidal was his main training partner in a way. They helped each other a lot.

“Masvidal helped Colby develop his standup. Colby helped Masvidal improve his wrestling tremendously. And at one point, I don’t know what happened, I don’t know the specifics, but they used to be very tight, and then something happened that they had to go in their own directions. But it’s going to be a hell of a fight. I’m excited for both guys. I’m ATT for life, so I’m definitely rocking with Masvidal. That’s my boy, that’s my dog, so I’m super excited for that one.”

In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, American Top Team owner Dan Lambert said that at one point, he had to ask both Masvidal and Covington to leave the gym. But only Covington ended up departing, joining neighboring gym MMA Masters.


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