Location: Sacramento, California
Year Established: 2004
Founder: Urijah Faber
Head Coach: Urijah Faber
Notable Title Wins: UFC Bantamweight Titles, UFC Flyweight Title, WEC Bantamweight Title
How was Team Alpha Male established?
Team Alpha Male was the brainchild of UFC/WEC vet Urijah Faber. In the early days of the MMA lower weight classes were still being introduced into the sport. The training at most MMA gyms at the time catered more to the higher weight classes.
Fighters in lower weight classes like Faber had to work with what they had to train with. He realized with the sport growing and lower weight classes being established that these fighters needed specific training.
So, Urijah decided to go out and start his own MMA gym that he named Team Alpha Male. Located in his hometown of Sacramento, California at a gym called Ultimate Fitness, where they rent out space.
Faber is a pioneer of lower weight class and was the face of World Extreme Cagefighting(WEC). A promotion that Zuffa, the company that owns the UFC bought in 2006 to showcase lower weight classes. With Urijah being one of the early faces of the promotion and was their bantamweight champion.
As Urijah started bringing legitimacy to the lower weight classes, Team Alpha Male started growing. Once the WEC merged into the UFC, a bigger audience started watching the lower weight classes and they started getting popular.
Team Alpha Male became one of the most recognized MMA gyms in the world for lower weight classes. Soon smaller fighters from across the country began traveling to train with them.
Today, Urijah Faber and Team Alpha are recognized for helping pioneer the lower MMA weight classes. The gym is highly respected and has had fighters hold gold multiple times within the UFC. Team Alpha always has multiple fighters who are in the top 10 of the flyweight, bantamweight, and featherweight divisions.
Urijah Faber is the Owner of Alpha Male. He is a pioneer of lower MMA classes and a future UFC Hall of Famer.
In his career, Faber has accumulated a record of 35-11. Winning the WEC Featherweight Championship and fighting for UFC bantamweight and featherweight titles multiple times.
Now that he is semi-retired, Urijah has turned his focus more to training his students. At only 41 years old, he has a lot more to give to the sport of MMA. Faber will continue producing some of the top MMA fighters in the world.
David Rowan(Head Coach)
While Urijah is the owner of Team Alpha Male, he hired David Rowan to oversee the programs at the gym. Rowan is a retired fighter with a 3-0 record with an amateur wrestling background.
Dustin Akbari(BJJ Coach)
The head of the Jiu Jitsu program at Team Alpha Male is Dustin Akbari. An accomplished grappler that frequently competes on professional Jiu Jitsu shows across the US.
One of the latest was at the Quintet show being part of the Team Alpha Male BJJ team. When he isn’t competing, Akbari oversees the BJJ program at the gym.
Danny Castillo(BJJ/MMA Coach)
Retired UFC veteran, Danny Castillo is one of the full time coaches at Team Alpha Male. After retiring from competition in 2015, he went right into coaching at the gym.
Castillo has over 30 years of martial arts experience along with 27 professional MMA matches. His experience makes him a vital part of the coaching staff.
Another former fighter turned coach at Alpha Male is TUF 18 winner Chris Holdsworth. Chris retired undefeated as a fighter and went into coaching full time at the academy.
He has been coaching at the gym for nearly ten years and is a highly respected member of the coaching staff.
Team Alpha Male has been producing high caliber professional fighters for over 15 years. Here are some of the most notable MMA fighters.
The highest profile fighter from Team Alpha Male is the leader of the gym himself, Urijah Faber. In his nearly 20 year career, the California kid accumulated a 35-11 record, while winning the WEC Featherweight Championship.
While in the UFC, Faber was constantly within the title picture within both the bantamweight and featherweight division.
While the highly publicized breakup with Team Alpha, Dillashaw was one of the top fighters of the team. Before leaving the team, Dillashaw racked up a 10-2 record and won the UFC Bantamweight Championship.
The ex bantamweight champion “no love” Cody Garbrandt has flown the Team Alpha Male banner for years. In his first 10 fights, he won 9 by KO/TKO with 5 of the KOs being in the UFC.
His 10th win would be the best performance of his career beating the multiple time champ Dominick Cruz. After dropping the first 3 fights of his career, Garbrand bounced back with a KO win in his last bout. He’ll look to get back in the title picture soon.
Before retiring, Chad Mendes was a fixture in the UFC featherweight division. Being constantly within the top 5 and fighting for the title on two occasions.
He was a well rounded fighter with a highly touted background in collegiate wrestling that developed a solid striking game. Throughout the last decade, he was always in the mix fighting the best in the division. Mendes ended his career in 2018 with an 18-5 record.
Team Alpha Male’s Legacy
Team Alpha Male will go down as the gym that helped pioneer the lower weight classes. Faber was able to bring together a great team of fighters and help them realize their dreams.
A decade after the team was founded, their hard work was recognized by the MMA community. They would win MMA gym of the year two years in a row in 2013 and again in 2014.
Today Team Alpha is still going strong and even has an affiliate gym located in Japan. Making them an internationally recognized MMA gym.