The signs have been there for a while but now it is official, Justin Buchholz, one of the long-standing head coaches from Team Alpha Male has officially left the Sacramento Gym. He follows other high-profile coaches out the door, including Dwayne Ludwig and Martin Kampmann.
The news comes in the wake of accusations from Buccholz back in November 2017, when he claimed that he was ousted as one of the head coaches and put in a more muay Thai-focussed role which didn’t sit well with him.
TAM founder Uriah Faber denied these claims at the time on the Slip ‘n Dip podcast when questioned about Buchholz’s comments.
“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 guys that won’t have him as a lead coach. So it’s not necessarily like a shaking up, everything is pretty much the same.”
Now it seems Buchholz has had enough and will be pursuing other opportunities. According to a report by MMANytt.com, Buchholz hasn’t coached at the gym since training Darren Elkins for his last fight in mid-January. Nothing official has been announced by the gym in regards to filling the hole.
News of his departure is surprising as TAM had arguably their most successful spell during his tenure, with the highpoint being Cody Garbrandt capturing the UFC bantamweight world title.
“I’m not disappointed,” Buchholz said about his split with Team Alpha Male. “I’m not a guy who gets disappointed or stays on something that happened in the past or just to rest on my laurels. When I was a young man, I would think that accomplishing something really means something -- but it’s what you plan on accomplishing.
“I did accomplish a lot and I still have that resume. That’s not going anywhere. I mean 2016 was the best year Team Alpha Male ever had. The amount of belts we won, the win- loss record and then capping it off with the 135-pound title. It was seriously the best year we’ve ever had.”
It seems there may have been a divide in the gym as Buchholz says he will work with a chosen few.
“I will work with certain fighters,” Buchholz said. “I don’t want to mention who I’ll work with. That’s my business and their business.”
Buchholz says he has received a number of offers from other gyms keen on acquiring him as a coach, but ultimately hasn’t decided what lies next and may take a leaf from Ludwig, who started his own gym once he left the team.