American Top Team was founded by Dan Lambert in 2001, where MMA fighters would be able to receive all their training under one roof at a world-class facility. A number of ATT's affiliated academies are located throughout the country, with a home base in Coconut Creek, Florida.
The gym has produced some of the most successful UFC Champions in the world, like Daniel Cormier, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Amanda Nunes.
Amanda's announcement comes after an emotional submission loss to Julianna Peña at UFC 269. Teammate Jorge Masvidal commented on the departure by saying,
"It just definitely hurts not to have her there I think. But man, I'm just always wishing the best for her. She's going to do her own thing... Obviously, it hurts and obviously, I want her [to stay] at American Top Team and I think we all do, we all love her. So it's like a... It's a devastating blow."
The timing of such an important announcement certainly makes fans wonder why? It's unlikely she came to this conclusion out of the blue and most likely had been planning this for a while, but the timing is indeed interesting.
It's unclear at this point if her new gym will be a part of ATT, but I imagine that would have also been announced. Because there has been no word on that, I can only assume that she will be starting her own thing.
The decision to open an independent gym may give us some insight into her mindset as she looks to move forward in her career after losing the title she's had since 2016.
When a successful fighter opens a gym, they are looking to a future after fighting. Amanda Nunes has built an unbelievable brand since winning the Bantamweight title and becoming the first female double champ. This GWOAT status will give a tremendous boost to her new gym, bringing her continued success long after she retires.
I find this particularly noteworthy since it makes me wonder if she is still as hungry as she used to be. In the rematch with Julianna Peña, will we see the lioness roar or fight with one foot out of the octagon?
By leaving ATT, she will abandon a winning formula that has helped her rack up twelve straight victories in a row and become the greatest women's MMA fighter of all time. Although it's possible, she could bring her coaches along to help her train for the Peña rematch.
She may decide to influence her trainers to come to her gym, strengthening their winning formula to regain the bantamweight belt. There's no confirmation if any ATT coaches will join her, but I imagine it wouldn't be hard for her to recruit those who have worked with her over the years.
It's rumored that Amanda lost the Peña fight because she wasn't ready due to a lack of hard training and obvious cardio issues. She could have many reasons for this, but I would not be optimistic that we will ever see the old Lioness again with her charge of the fight camp.
It's not likely she'll be pushed the way she needs in her own gym with her as the boss. She is a wealthy woman with a beautiful family. Marvin Hagler said it best, "It's tough to get out of bed to do roadwork at 5 am when you've been sleeping in silk pajamas."
I believe the chances of her returning to the octagon as the woman who knocked out Cyborg and Ronda Rousey are slim if she doesn't bring her coaches to help her prepare for the bantamweight title rematch.
Hopefully, in the next few months, we'll learn more about Amanda's new gym and the coaches who will get her ready to face a very game, Julianna Peña. It will be one hell of a comeback story if the old Queen who once dominated the bantamweight division can defeat the woman who now wears the crown.
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