With the departure of 2013's coach of the year Duane Ludwig, Team Alpha Male is in the process of finding a replacement. And it looks like another well-known fighter may be emerging as the forerunner to land the job.
UFC Tonight's Ariel Helwani reported that Martin Kampmann, a 17-time UFC veteran in both the middleweight and welterweight divisions, is being seriously considered to replace "Bang" Ludwig in Sacramento. The longtime Xtreme Couture fighter was at Team Alpha Male on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday on a tryout basis, running the practices and overseeing the team, which includes Joseph Benavidez, Danny Castillo, T.J. Dillashaw and Urijah Faber, among others.
According to Faber, Kampmann left a very good first impression.
"The guy is really knowledgeable," he told Helwani. "He ran a great practice [Tuesday]."
The 32-year old Kampmann (20-7, 11-6 in the UFC) last fought at UFC Fight Night 27 in Indianapolis last August against Carlos Condit, a rematch that he lost via fourth-round TKO. Since that time he has been on hiatus, playing poker and coaching both in America and his native Denmark. Kampmann recently told MMA Fighting that, though he wasn't ruling out fighting again, he was interested in segueing into coaching.
"That's definitely something I could see myself doing," he said in an early-April interview. "Fighting is not going to last forever. I want to pursue other things I can do afterwards, as well. I enjoy coaching, especially guys who have the hunger to go fight and compete at the highest levels. Those are the guys that I enjoy coaching."
It was reported that Kampmann was the one who initiated talks with Team Alpha Male, writing what Faber called a "very impressive letter." The "Hitman" becomes the first candidate that the team has looked at to replace Ludwig, who is leaving the team to open his own gym in Colorado on May 24. Though Ludwig helped Faber turnaround his career and get to a title shot against Renan Barao at UFC 169, the team still hasn't gotten over the hump of winning a title. Dillashaw will get the next opportunity in June at UFC 174 in Vancouver, when he takes his shot against Barao.
Faber wouldn't say who else Team Alpha Male was considering for the head coaching position.