Head coach Justin Buchholz and the trainers at Team Alpha Male have put their blood, sweat, and tears into making their fellow fighters and training partners leave the gym better off than they arrived. Cody Garbrandt set the pace for an amazing 2017 in Team Alpha Male when he dethroned Dominick Cruz to become the bantamweight champion and the rest of the Team Alpha Male fighters rallied behind him in a major way inside the octagon.
Darren Elkins and Cynthia Calvillo made their way into the octagon at “UFC 209” prepared to put on a show in their own right. Elkins had endured an insane amount of punishment in the first two rounds all the while showing his fighter’s spirit and heart before making one of the biggest comebacks of the year in the final round, knocking Mirsad Bektic out cold.
Calvillo walked down to the octagon for the first time with ice in her veins, proving that octagon jitters doesn’t impact everybody. She was able to make quick work of Amanda Cooper, submitting her in the opening round of her pay-per-view debut.
While many fans and fighters in the arena were shocked to see Elkins’ come from behind victory and Calvillo’s easy win, Buchholz was in their corner confident that they’d win in spectacular fashion just like he is for every one of his fighters, whether it be in the octagon or regional scene. The time head coaches dedicate to their fighters is unfathomable and for all that hard work to go unnoticed while other coaches get attention for lesser things could be irritating, to say the least.
The “UFC 209” broadcast team consisted of Jon Anik, Joe Rogan, and Dominick Cruz. It came to the surprise of most that one of Team Alpha Male’s biggest supporters was none other than rival Cruz. Buchholz dove into the topic in the most recent edition of “Stud Radio” saying, “I watched the fights on the way back and I heard that our biggest ally in the booth was Dominick Cruz. So at [UFC 209] our biggest ally was Dominick Cruz. But hey man, he’s a fighter so on that panel he’s a fighter and he knows — I don’t know what he said but people said he said good things.”
After hearing that it was “weird” that Cruz praised Calvillo and Elkins for their performances, Buchholz reminded everybody, “He’s being an unbiased commentator. The one guy who you think would be biased was not biased, from what I heard.”
It’s a no brainer for the commentary team, a group of analysts who are supposed to get the viewer emotionally attatched to the fight, to mention the success of Team Alpha Male in 2017 leading into Elkins’ and Calvillo’s fights. However, nothing was mentioned at all.
“What about our year in MMA?” Buchholz asked. “That’s the topic of everyone’s conversation. That Cody won the belt, that Team Alpha Male reborn and we’re killing everyone and we’re just capping that off.”
He continued, “All these guys love to talk about when we weren’t doing good. When TJ [Dillashaw] left, that was the hottest conversation. When we get the belt back, we’re doing great. A guy like Darren Elkins gets his first finish after his fifth fight with our club. He’s looking better and better and he’s getting that finish. You know what I mean? And there’s no mention of it. And then Cynthia fights too, and debuts — Team Alpha Female. 115-pound prospect — I don’t know. I heard people were telling me too they were like, ‘Wow, we didn’t hear how much was going on.’”
Buchholz’s co-host “Sir Stud Boy” opened up on Jon Anik by saying, “I don’t know why they got rid of (Mike) Goldberg. If you are going to get rid of Goldberg, you have to get someone better. You don’t go down. I mean this (Jon) Anik guy was the JV guy. You would only put him in there, because Goldberg is too busy.”
Buchholz was quick to dismiss Stud Boy’s critiques of Anik as a commentator, but dove into the subject of how he was confused that Anik chose Matt Hume as coach of the year.
Buchholz went on to mention that Rogan was quick to talk about Duane Ludwig training TJ Dillashaw, but not a peep when the California gym was seeing a resurgence. “He was there to talk about Duane [Ludwig] and stealing TJ, but he’s not there talking about Team Alpha Male or what we’re doing. I feel like people are ignoring it. I feel like it’s [expletive] [expletive].”
Buchholz finished by saying, “It was really weird on the commentary how they never mentioned that Team Alpha Male had just crowned a champion. Cynthia came on the card with two weeks notice. Joined Darren Elkins — How does she feel after watching her teammate come back from a deficit like that to win by knockout? They never even talked about it, never even said anything. It’s disappointing.”
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