clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Coach: Joseph Benavidez bailed on Team Alpha Male, could end up at Elevation Fight Team

Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight-turned-full-time fight coach Duane Ludwig is like the mixed martial arts (MMA) version of Moses, helping the Team Alpha Male slaves escape Pharaoh Faber. The only difference? They go straight to Elevation Fight Team as opposed to a 40-year trek through the Sonoran Desert.

I guess "thou shalt not stab you in the back" didn't make the cut.

The latest fighter to say goodbye to the Sacramento, Calif.-based fight camp is top flyweight contender Joseph Benavidez. Team Alpha Male head coach Justin Buchholz, however, told Stud Radio (via Bloody Elbow) there are no hard feelings.

"He did leave the team. I mean, you train here in Sacramento, you're part of Team Alpha Male, or you don't live here. He hasn't trained at all since I took over as head coach. I thought Joe would at least give a chance of me, and Danny, and Holdsworth running this new program along with Master Thong and Joey. But he never did. He came in town for one week, he moved his house, did, like, one boxing class. I'm not upset at him for leaving because he didn't leave under me as head coach. He left when the team was hurting -- we didn't have a coach, we didn't have much direction. So it is what it was."

Buchholz expects Benavidez to end up at Elevation Fight Team in the near future.

After a stunning knockout loss to division champion Demetrious Johnson back in late 2013, the 31-year-old Benavidez (24-4) has been on fire, winning five straight fights in the span of two years while keeping himself ranked No. 1 in his division.

Expect to see "Joe Jitsu" back inside the cage this summer.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania