Team Alpha Male member Lance Palmer lost his World Series Of Fighting featherweight title last night at WSOF 26 after suffering a unanimous decision loss to underdog opponent Alexandre Almeida, and then called into question the current level of coaching at the world famous fight camp.
Team Alpha Male has been one of the best fight camps around for many years and had particular success during the time that Duane Ludwig was their head coach, but he left amidst a falling out with the team’s owner Urijah Faber and according to Palmer his departure has been a big loss.
“We don’t have a head coach who knows the game and has been in the game,” Palmer said. “Duane Ludwig was the best person we had at that, and not having him there has definitely made a difference. That’s just the way it is. People may be mad for saying that, but whether Duane – things outside of MMA – he’s a great coach despite whatever didn’t got right with him and Urijah (Faber), and that’s something that we have to look at, also.
“There’s a lot of guys on our team that aren’t getting to that next level, to that peak performance, because we don’t have somebody like that.”
The rift between Faber and Ludwig became increasingly public in recent months and then led to the bombshell announcement that one of TAM’s top talents, UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw was leaving the camp to join the new Elevation Fight Team in Denver, close by to where Ludwig now resides.
That led to bad blood between Faber and Dillashaw who had been close team-mates and training partners up until that point, but now could end up fighting each other in the Octagon at some point in the future.
So it’s been a rocky period for Faber’s team and there are signs that it may be affecting their performances in the cage as last weekend much hyped TAM member Paige VanZant suffered a brutal, one-sided loss to Rose Namajunas in the main event of UFC Fight Night 80, while the following night another of the camps biggest names Chad Mendes was KO’d by Frankie Edgar, his seconds loss in a row.
Faber did win his fight at UFC 184 last Saturday against Frankie Saenz to salvage something from the weekend for the team, but it certainly wasn’t the best performance we’ve seen from him and now just a week later they’ve suffered another blow with Palmer losing his WSOF title.
It definitely seems as if there is evidence that Faber has some work to do in order to right the ship at Team Alpha Male, but he is a natural leader, a shrewd businessman and has an excellent reputation in the sport, so there’s every chance he will be able to make the neccessary adjustments to turn things around and get the best out of what remains a very talented roster of fighters.