Urijah Faber discusses Yair Rodriguez training at Team Alpha Male

The Sacramento based gym just added a top 10 ranked featherweight

Yair Rodriguez has been a bit of a nomad throughout his mixed martial arts career training at several different facilities under numerous coaches.

Following a tough loss to Frankie Edgar back in May, Rodriguez began the search once again to find a home where he could train full time and he may have found the perfect place at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento.

While Rodriguez hasn’t decided whether or not to call the Sacramento based gym his permanent home, Team Alpha Male founder Urijah Faber says he’s fitting in with the team very well since first arriving.

“He’s staying at my house right now,” Faber said about Rodriguez on the “Joe Rogan” podcast. “He’s a really talented guy.”

Rodriguez has worked under head coach Greg Jackson previously and also trained extensively in Chicago for his past few training camps.

He still trains under head striking coach Mike Valle, who has been with Rodriguez for quite some time now but adding the kind of leadership and sparring partners that he would get at Team Alpha Male would be invaluable.


Rodriguez suffered his first loss in the UFC to Edgar in large part because he struggled to fend off takedown attempts from the former lightweight champion, who put him down on the mat before bludgeoning him with strikes from above.

At Team Alpha Male, Rodriguez will find no shortage of top grapplers including former UFC fighter Danny Castillo, who has transitioned to a coaching role, or working alongside fighters such as Chad Mendes, Lance Palmer and Darren Elkins, who all come from wrestling backgrounds.

Faber says Rodriguez actually has a solid wrestling base already, but it was tough to see that while facing off with an experienced former champion like Edgar.

“His wrestling’s good, it’s just like Conor [McGregor]. Conor’s boxing is really good, it’s just not Floyd Mayweather good in the later rounds,” Faber explained. “Yair’s made a lot of gains. He went and trained with Israel Martinez, he’s a very good coach, and he put him through a whole year of wrestling so his wrestling is top notch but it’s not Frankie Edgar level. When you’re a little bit fatigued and you make a small mistake and the guy can capitalize but it’s getting there.”

While Rodriguez may still be brushing up on his wrestling, Faber says that the former “Ultimate Fighter” winner definitely has plenty of tricks to share with the other fighters in the gym as well including his vast array of kicks.

Faber says that Rodriguez is so deadly with his kicks that he feels those are not only his most dangerous weapon inside the Octagon but also his most accurate.

“He feels like he’s more accurate with his kicks, faster with his kicks than he is with his hands,” Faber said. “He’s been staying at my house the last week and so I’m getting to know him a lot and what a cool dude. That guy is very smart, well put together.”

There’s no word yet on when Rodriguez will book his next fight but it looks like he has a new team behind him to help him prepare for whoever he faces in his return to the Octagon.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.