Exclusive – Sacramento State's Urijah Faber Launches World's First MMA Program for Students

Uriah Faber and Sacramento State University President J. Luke Wood are set to make history with a groundbreaking university program designed to guide and empower young aspiring fighters into combat.

A pioneer of MMA, Faber has balanced his time between wrestling and coaching over the years. He runs a very successful gym called Team Alpha Male, which has seen several UFC champions. Now, thanks to the wit of one student who came to Sacramento State from overseas, coupled with the thriving relationship between Uriah Faber and President J. Luke Wood, the world's first collegiate MMA program will come to life in Northern California.

Urijah Faber

In a conversation with LowKick MMA reporter Makoa Goble, Urijah Faber spoke in detail about this revolutionary new program, which will be called Combat U. Combat U will help students develop as mixed martial arts fighters, as well as give them promotions to fight for, since Faber owns his own program. called A1 Combat.

Urijah Faber talks in detail about Combat U and its creation

When asked how the idea for such a revolutionary program came about, Faber explained several factors that led to it. He said that President Wood was a fan of martial arts and even trained at Faber's gym. A female mixed martial artist from India then contacted President Wood and told him how she decided to go to the school because it was close to the Team Alpha Male gym.

All these factors led to an idea, and it turned out to be very brilliant. How about a peer-supported program designed to develop a whole new generation of combat sports athletes? This was made even more convenient by Faber's gym being so close to campus. As Faber continued to explain, it seemed as if all the building blocks fell into place perfectly, as if everything was meant to be.

Faber on the unclear path for young fighters and what the program could mean for them

“We have a rich history of welcoming young athletes (as part of Team Alpha Men), but they have always had to choose a fork in the road: pursue academics or pursue a career in martial arts,” Uriah Faber said. . “…We actually have some of our current fighters who are interested in participating in the program.”

Urijah Faber UFC 290Urijah Faber UFC 290
Mandatory credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC.

“So we already have guys who have been waiting to go back to education later (after their fighting careers are over) and who are going to start doing it (going back to school) now. It's still very raw, there's no way yet. I have a bunch of things outside of that that I’m working on to help really make it happen.”

Urijah Faber will go on to talk about how he would like to work alongside what the UFC is already doing, which is trying to open the floodgates and more easily allow up-and-coming fighters to follow the path. He talked about how more classic sports, such as football or basketball, already have certain paths that athletes must follow. However, MMA does not have the same easy channels for young prospects.

Young promising players must lead a difficult life, juggling work, training and wrestling. If a fighter is lucky, someone will invest in his future and allow him to focus solely on training and fighting. However, this can be considered quite rare and most fighters simply have to work while going through grueling training and then facing other young and hungry fighters in the cage.

However, now everything may change. If Sacramento State's Combat U program is successful, it wouldn't be surprising to see more colleges around the country and the world offering a similar program. All of this will provide young fighters with a strong support system to help them follow their dreams.

What do you think about Urijah Faber and Combat U?

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