We’re all starting to become familiar with the small man who wears the white framed glasses.
He is often found in the corner of the newly crowned two-weight world champion, Henry Cejudo,
He is also the trainer of Patricio Pitbull, who is fresh off of a second successful title challenge.
His name is Eric Albarracin, a former Army Captain and an acclaimed wrestler in his own right, and he is quickly closing in on 2019’s most successful coach.
Albarracin is an interesting character with an intriguing story, which has unquestionably formed him into the outstanding coach that he is today.
“The Captain” was born in 1977, in Scottsdale, Arizona, into a Colombian-American family, he grew up in Arizona before joining the Military.
Throughout Albarracin’s career in the army, he was an avid freestyle wrestler, competing as much as he could. He was a seven-time armed forces champion and a three-time national champion.
His career highlights came in the form of a silver medal in the 1997 Pan American championships, as well as another silver medal in the 2000 Military World Wrestling championships.
Albarracin, who has now retired from competitive wrestling still works in the army, in the Individual Readiness Training Company.
He also runs the U.S army combative system, set up in 2001 by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Sergeant First Class Matt Larsen.
The system that they teach is similar to Mixed Martial Arts, with completely different applications, but there are advanced army combative competitions which are essentially amateur MMA bouts.
It is hard to find information on Albarracin’s transition to MMA coaching, but the first time he was seen in the MMA world was in The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 2 where he coached for Team Nogueira and again in The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 where Chael Sonnen brought him in as a guest coach.
Since then the coach has gone on to do great things, he coaches mainly in Brazil and works with some of the world’s most elite fighters.
He has said on twitter “I Train Only A Hand Picked Few So I Can take them to the top” which seems to be working as the more focused approach has garnered multiple world champions.
He has Developed Henry Cejudo from a somewhat one-dimensional fighter into a champion who has beaten former pound for pound list-toppers such as T.J Dillashaw and Demetrius Johnson.
There are also a host of Brazilian fighters who Albarracin’s coaching has worked wonders on, such as the Pitbull brothers, Patricio is a two-weight world champion having avenged his brother’s loss to Michael Chandler, and Patriky is on a five-fight win streak since that loss.
As well as that there’s also the undefeated Paulo Costa who he works with, who has the biggest test of his career in the form of Yoel Romero. so far, he has blown through all of his opposition that includes former welterweight champ Johny Hendriks and explosive middleweight veteran Uriah Hall.
It is clear that Albarracin’s mind for combat sports is exceptional, the proof is in the achievements of his fighters. We’re only six months into 2019 and he is without a shed of doubt the frontrunner for coach of the year.
Some may want to call Eric Albarracin eccentric, annoying and most commonly cringy, but at this point, nobody can deny that “Captain America” is one of the world’s top Mixed Martial Arts coaches.