Lambert Explains Liborios ATT Departure
According to the owner of MMA training camp, American Top Team, former head coach Ricardo Liborio’s departure had nothing to do with Colby Covington.
In an interview with MMA Fighting, Dan Lambert claimed that Liborio left the team two years ago to move to Orlando due to his daughter’s medical issues. Lambert said Liborio was still on the ATT payroll as of earlier this year, but he hasn’t had ties to the gym since that time, aside from cornering a few ATT fighters.
In an Instagram post Monday, Liborio posted a statement renouncing Colby Covington’s remarks about the Brazilian crowd at UFC Sao Paulo. Liborio also said he was no longer the head coach of American Top Team. Due to this information being kept quiet by all parties, many assumed that Liborio was leaving the gym due to Covington’s comments. Lambert was angry that Liborio was insinuating something like that.
I feel that I must make a statement in light of the comments made by Colby Convigton along with the amount of messages sent to me from Brazil, the United States, and from all over the world. I’m here to state that I am no longer with American Top Team. Also, I absolutely do not condone any behavior that instigates hate, prejudice, or bullying of any kind. It upsets me to see the sport taking this direction of blatant disrespect. It’s unsportsmanlike, but it also fosters and promotes a culture of cruelty towards others. Combat Sports should always represent the qualities of humility, empathy, and respect. I dedicated my life to the Martial arts, and to the formation and growth of this team. I can not discuss at this time the reasons for my departure from ATT. At some point, I will. For the time being, I want the members of ATT to know that they will always be in my heart❤
“I counted him among my good friends… I’m f*cking stunned that he would put out something misleading like that to put himself over. It really pisses me off. It really rubs me the wrong way. … It’s just not right. What the f*ck? Get over yourself.”
Lambert said Liborio left in 2015 and Lambert made a deal where Liborio would remain getting paid by ATT if he came down to Coconut Creek from Orlando two or three days per week to perform duties as coach.
“I agreed to keep him on the payroll as long as he came down to the gym and trained the guys a couple days a week… He agreed and never showed up.”
After a year and a half of that arrangement, Lambert said Liborio admitted that he wouldn’t be able to live up to the arrangement and financial ties were cut between the two sides. Lambert said that was the end of it and that Liborio “…gave me a hug and then he left.” There were no hard feelings, until this week.
“Libo is my friend. He’s been my friend for 15 years. He’s got some family issues. I think I did him a solid by keeping him on the payroll for a year and a half.”
Lambert said he never released an announcement about Liborio’s departure, because he didn’t think the public gives coaches and teams that kind of attention.
“I never announced anything… I didn’t want to throw him under a bus and say he’s not with the team anymore. Whatever. There was no need to — who cares? But then for him to somehow try to imply that he left the team to be a martyr for the honor of Brazil? That’s a bad move. That’s misleading, it’s deceitful. It just shocked me.
“I don’t think anyone cares. People don’t care about coaches. It’s an individual sport. People care about fighters. Nobody cares about Liborio or me or Conan [Silveira] or our coaches. They just don’t. I don’t have an ego big enough to think people give a s***.”
Colby Covington continued his trash talk against the host city of Sao Paulo, following his win over Demian Maia. He said Brazil was a “dump” and those in attendance were “filthy animals.” On his way out of the arena, the near riotous crowd threw trash and laid boos down upon Covington. Covington would need an escort to his hotel, a guard at his door, and was put on lockdown in his room until he was taken to the airport.
Liborio was one of a few Brazil natives involved with ATT to renounce Covington’s comments. Antonio Silva and UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes were among the others. In a statement to MMA Fighting, Liborio was clear in his dissapointment.
“It upsets me to see the sport taking this direction of blatant disrespect… It’s unsportsmanlike, but it also fosters and promotes a culture of cruelty towards others. Combat sports should always represent the qualities of humility, empathy, and respect.”
“I dedicated my life to the martial arts, and to the formation and growth of this team and I want the members of ATT to know that they will always be in my heart.”
In the statement, Liborio said he left American Top Team “approximately 3 months ago.” The coach has said he moved to Orlando because of his daughter’s medical issue, but declined to go into any more specifics about his departure from the team he helped found more than a decade ago.