Justin Buchholz is no longer Team Alpha Male’s head coach in an announcement on his podcast.
Another head coach at Team Alpha Male has come and gone.
Justin Buchholz last week announced on his podcast, Stud Radio, that he is no longer serving as head coach at the Sacramento-based fight team. Buchholz said “things changed” after his lengthy trip to his native Alaska, where he won his MMA return by first-round TKO, as well as after the team moved facilities four months ago.
“I had a system that I had put in place last year that I was in charge of and I stuck to and made things happen, and we’ve gone to a different system,” Buchholz said (transcript via MMAFighting.com).
Buchholz took over as head coach at the beginning of 2016 after former UFC fighter Martin Kampann left his head coaching duties due to family reasons. Prior to Kampann’s short stint at Team Alpha Male, Duane Ludwig was the gym’s head coach, but “Bang” and the team had a nasty separation in 2014.
According to Buchholz, team founder and ex-UFC bantamweight Urijah Faber told him that there are now multiple head coaches — including former UFC fighters Chris Holdsworth and Danny Castillo. Buchholz is now in charge of the gym’s Muay Thai program. He added that he will be paid by the hour and have one class per week and a lot less “work” to do.
“I run the Muay Thai program. I’m the only Muay Thai coach, so, yeah, you could say I’m the Muay Thai head coach,” Buchholz said. “It’s a changing of roles but I’m gonna do work from the Muay Thai position and keep doing my thing and try to win and build world world champions, but for the the team in general, I’m not running the MMA practices anymore.”
Buchholz implied on Twitter after the aforementioned podcast that he was surprised by his departure of head coach, saying “I don’t understand either.” The change of position does seem a bit odd, considering the success Buchholz had as head coach, proven by Cody Garbrandt going from unranked prospect to UFC bantamweight champion in the 2016 calendar year. Buchholz took over when Team Alpha Male was struggling — Buchholz noted that in the last stretch of December 2015, the team went 1-3; Faber beat Frankie Saenz, while Paige VanZant, Chad Mendes, and Lance Palmer all lost. Palmer told BloodyElbow.com last year that the team was at a “breaking point” around that time and that he considered leaving for a different gym.
“It was a pretty disastrous end to the year. We weren’t used to taking these losses so to have that record was kind of disheartening,” Buchholz recalled. “I put the whole program together and made sure that everyone had different procedures in class. We were all together on the same page.”
Team Alpha Male as a whole started to find more success in 2016 once Buchholz became its head coach.
“When I was in charge of the program, from the beginning of last year, [we won] 17 f—king belts in one year, from unranked to bantamweight champion, three to four new guys in the UFC, belts up the ass, 56 fights cornered by me, 20 of them being UFC fights.
“I changed up the program, I was in charge there. Urijah was fighting. We had a successful comeback as a team when we were written off by a lot of people. It’s easy to forget when we were in a hardship and what we accomplished as a team and what I accomplished as a head coach in 2016. It hasn’t really been done by anyone else. I really understood where I was at and what I had done as a head coach on Dec. 30th when Cody won the title.”
Moving forward, Buchholz won’t be in officially in charge of the MMA classes. But he said he’ll still do what he’s done ever since he joined Team Alpha Male years ago.
“I’ll support from the MMA striking coach and training fighters individually too — (be) in charge of camps and strategy for certain fighters that I work with, and doing what I always do: putting my heart and soul out there,” he said. “It’s the same thing I did for f—king 10 years for the team.”