Gym: Alliance MMA
Location: Chula Vista, California
Martial Arts Background: MMA
Notable Fighters: Dominick Cruz, Brandon Vera, Jan Blachowicz, Phil Davis, Cat Zingano
How Eric Del Fierro helped create Alliance MMA
Eric Del Fierro has been the head coach of Alliance MMA since they opened their doors in 2007. He was coaching founder Brandon Vera at another gym called City Boxing.(No relation to City Kickboxing in New Zealand.
San Diego has been an epicenter for BJJ and MMA and it was the place Vera wanted to open a gym. The man he wanted to run the school was Eric Del Fierro.
Vera knew that Del Fierro knew what it took to help take fighters to the top of the spot. This move of making Eric head coach turned Alliance MMA into an elite level MMA gym.
Around a hundred fighters or more have been coached by Del Fierro at Alliance MMA. A good amount of them fought in the sport’s top organizations and won their championships.
Eric Del Fierro the quiet captain
There honestly isn’t much on the internet about Alliance MMA head coach Del Fierro and he probably prefers it that way.
Earlier on when Alliance MMA was starting to get big, Del Fierro would rarely do interviews. Eric prefers to let his fighters take the spotlight, while he stays in the background and keeps working.
This formula of staying quiet and working hard has more than paid off. The success of Del Fierro’s fighters speaks for him.
Many of the world’s best fighters like Dominick Cruz and Phil Davis entrusted Eric to run their fight camps. With Del Fierro at the helm, Alliance MMA has been one of the most prominent fight gyms in the world.
Many MMA champions and even more top level MMA fighters call Alliance MMA home.
Del Fierro has coached a who’s who of MMA fighters in his 20+ years of coaching. He has coached the likes of Dominick Cruz, Phil Davis, Brandon Vera, Jan Blachowicz, and Cat Zingano.
One of the most decorated fighters that Del Fierro has coached is former 2x UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. He is arguably one of the greatest bantamweight fighters of all time.
Before winning titles in the UFC, Cruz made his name at World Extreme Cagefighting. In the WEC, Cruz would win 7 of his 8 fights in the promotions.
He would be the last WEC champion and defended his title twice before the company merged into the UFC. His title would turn into the UFC bantamweight championship.
Dominick would win his first two fights in the UFC and defend his belt. Unfortunately Cruz would suffer a severe knee injury and be forced to vacate his title.
It would take Cruz over three years to make his comeback, but he made his return in 2014. Delivering a phenomenal KO of veteran Takeya Mizguki.
Then Cruz would suffer a second severe knee injury and be shelved for another two years. In 2016, Cruz would make his 2nd comeback in a title bout with champion TJ Dillashaw.
It would be a fantastic fight that Cruz would come out on top and be the first 2x UFC bantamweight champion.
Cruz would unfortunately lose his title in his next fight and be shelved for 4 years with another knee injury.
The founder of Alliance MMA that brought Del Fierro in to run the school is Brandon ‘the truth’ Vera. Brandon was already 8-0 before he and Del Fierro would start Alliance MMA.
Brandon was a rising start in the sport when the UFC was just starting to explode in popularity. Although he would gradually start declining after his first loss to Tim Sylvia in 2007.
Vera would go 8-7 in his 8 years with the UFC before deciding to go fight for the Asian MMA promotion One FC.
In One FC, Vera being Filipino became a superstar fighting in the Philippines. He would win the promotion’s heavyweight title and defend it twice before losing two fights in a row. With the last loss ending his 6 year reign as champion.
Mr. Wonderful Phil Davis has been working with Del Fierro at Alliance MMA since transitioning to the sport in 2008. In just one year of training, Davis was 4-0 and in the UFC.
He would win his first 5 fights with the organization, which included victories over Alexander Gustafsson and Brian Stann. Davis would drop his first loss to Rashad Evans and wouldn’t lose again for another two years.
After going 9-3 in the UFC, Davis decided to test free agency and would sign with Bellator MMA in 2015. In his first Bellator show, Davis would win a 4 man tournament winning two fights in one night. Earning him a shot at the promotion’s light heavyweight title.
Phil would dominate champion Liam McGeary to win his only major MMA title. Davis would then drop the title in another his second loss to Ryan Bader.
Since signing with Bellator Davis has gone 9-3 with the promotion and will look to win the title again.
Eric Del Fierro’s legacy
The success of Alliance MMA since it opened in 2007, shows just how good of a coach Del Fierro is. As head coach, Del Fierro has helped lead multiple fighters to becoming world champions.
With Alliance MMA expanding to multiple gyms across the world, Del Fierro’s stable of fighters have grown with it. Eric now coaches fighters from around the world and around top fighters in all of the major MMA promotions.