Team Alpha Male (TAM) have rarely been out of the headlines for the past two years and it would appear there have been a few changes to their coaching setup in the lead up to UFC 217.
Justin Buchholz was thought to be the team head coach having taken over from Martin Kampmann in January 2016, but speaking this past weekend on Stud Radio, Buchholz announced that he was no longer in the position and that he was now one of five head coaches at TAM.
Buchholz was understandably upset by the situation and with Cody Garbrandt set to defend his title against TJ Dillashaw this weekend at UFC 217, the timing to make such a change would appear to be rather odd to say the least.
Alas, TAM founder Urijah Faber joined Matthew Wells and Kendrick Johnson on the ‘Slip n’ Dip Podcast’ this week to explain the situation.
“Honestly it hasn’t been much of a change and I think that’s more of a personal viewpoint of Buchholz,” Faber said. “What we have been able to do is hire more coaches and thank goodness for Mountain Lion Aviation, it’s been awesome having them support us and we brought more guys on: Chris Holdsworth, Danny Castillo, coach Joey Rodriguez, myself and the existing coaches Fabio Prado and Justin Buchholz.
“I think Justin is maybe having a little trouble with having more guys in on practice etc.”
“It was kinda his idea for him to step into more of a kickboxing role. I’d love for him to be as a head coach. There’s a lot of guys that he will be a lead coach for and there’s a lot of other guys that wont have him as a lead coach.
“It’s not necessarily like a shaking up, everything is pretty much the same.”
Back in September, Buchholz fought for the first time in nearly two years when he filled in as a last minute replacement at Alaska Fight Championship 133. Buchholz won via TKO in round one and Faber implied that this might’ve had something to do with the change.
“He did take off to Alaska and was kinda on his time period for that,” Faber said. “He took off and actually took a fight and came back and things were actually going smoothly. It’s business as usual for us though. We have like five or six coaches in each practice.
“We have like, I dunno, I don’t know how many guys we have fighting in the UFC now, but from Sage Northcutt, Cynthia Calvillo, we just got like, dunno, a bunch of new guys coming in from all over the globe. It’s a time when we need a lot of hands on deck.”
“He can call himself whatever he wants.”
“Head coach is still a position for him if he’s thinking more of a kickboxing role for himself.”
With Garbrandt’s preparations the primary focus of the team this week, it looks like Faber will speak to Buchholz once fight week is over to clear things up.
“Yeah it’s a little weird, I don’t want to… I’ll talk to him after this fight week and see what’s going on in his head, but it is what it is.
“We’re firing on all cylinders and it’s been amazing time for Cody and the whole team.”