T.J. Dillashaw isn't the only relative newcomer to Elevation Fight Team.
Leister Bowling, the squad's head coach, told MMA Fighting that UFC stalwarts Matt Brown and Clay Guida have also recently come on board, joining a roster that already includes Brandon Thatch, Neil Magny, Cat Zingano and others.
Previously, Elevation fighters had to visit four different gyms in the Denver area to get all their training. Not any longer. With a new investment from MusclePharm, all of the work will be done under one roof -- at the renovated, state-of-the-art MusclePharm gym.
"With what they're willing to do, it allows us to change our schedule a little bit," Bowling said of MusclePharm. "Our team has always been spread out in Denver."
Brown has done three out of his last five camps with Elevation, but Bowling said he has recently become a "full-fledged" member of the team.
"[Brown] has great training and great coaches back home [in Ohio], too," Bowling said. "But the training partners for him, I think he was just looking for a place where he knew every day he was gonna have somebody to train with."
Guida, who is sponsored by MusclePharm, is also a relatively new addition. He had bounced around between JacksonWink MMA in Albuquerque and Team Alpha Male in Sacramento recently.
"It's awesome to have him," Bowling said.
Elevation has been on the periphery of the controversy between Dillashaw and Urijah Faber, the patriarch of his former team, Team Alpha Male. Faber accused Bowling of recruiting Alpha Male athletes this week on the Stud Show Radio podcast.
Bowling, though, denies those claims and said he is more concerned with the core fighters who have been there for a long time, like Magny, Thatch, Zingano, Drew Dober and Tony Sims.
"Our doors are always open to anybody who wants to come train," Bowling said. "But I think the biggest thing Urijah said that's not true is that I'm trying to actively recruit guys. I don't want a whole lot of high-level guys. I want to be able to focus on the guys we do have. Right now, I think we have 10 guys in the UFC and I want to be able to give those guys every bit of attention I can."
A big reason Dillashaw left Alpha Male for Colorado was the proximity to his main coach, Duane Ludwig. Ludwig has his own gym, but several Elevation fighters go to him for striking. That will certainly be the case for Dillashaw.
Previously, Elevation athletes went to separate gyms for grappling (Eliot Marshall), strength and conditioning (Loren Landow), striking (Ludwig) and wrestling (Bowling). Now, a lot of that will happen at the MusclePharm gym. Christian Allen is Elevation's main striking coach.
Bowling said that was nearly two hours of driving per day for some fighters. No longer. The MusclePharm investment has helped build the team, but also improved the lives of the fighters who have been there for the long haul, which is important to Bowling.
"With the new format in place, we're able to have all of our training under one roof," Bowling said, "which just makes it so much easier."