(Duane Ludwig and his Bang Bros. / Photo via CombatLifestyle.com)
When Duane “Bang” Ludwig came on as head coach of Team Alpha Male, it was like a magic bullet for the Sacramento-based crew, who began performing markedly better in all aspects of the game. Now, Ludwig is leaving after a year and a half with Urijah Faber and his gang — and there might be some hurt feelings on both sides.
The basic story is this: Ludwig wants to leave Team Alpha Male in order to open his own gym in Colorado. Yesterday morning, he told Faber about his plans privately, assuring Faber that he’d stay on to complete upcoming training camps for team members. Instead of keeping things discreet, Faber posted a public ad on TeamAlphaMale.com later that day, stating that the team needed a new coach. The news was then reported on last night’s edition of UFC Tonight, and the cat was fully out of the bag.
“It wasn’t f*cking supposed to be like this, man,” Ludwig told MMAjunkie yesterday. “I’m not going to bounce on anybody’s fight camp. Then he f*cking went and told the team and did a press release before I knew. I’m like, ‘What the hell?’…I was just giving Urijah the heads up; I didn’t really have much planned. I think he kind of jumped (the gun).”
Faber confirmed that Ludwig will remain with the team until May 24th — the same day as UFC 173, which will feature Team Alpha Male fighters TJ Dillashaw and Chris Holdsworth. He also name-checked Mark Hominick, Dan Hardy, Muay Thai trainer Mark Beecher, and grappling coach Robert Follis as guys he’d like to see as Ludwig’s replacement. (Hominick already seems interested.) After the jump: Ludwig explains the strictly-business reasoning behind starting his own gym…
“I’ve been working for other businesses since I was 15, and it’s just time I do my own thing, man,” Ludwig said. “I gave Sacramento a year-and-a-half of my life and coaching. If I got hurt on this job, I would have no more income. There’s no residual income here, and I’m just at the point in my life where I’ve got to set up a residual business for myself.
“I’m still working paycheck to paycheck. I’ve got to set up a business; that’s just the smartest move. Plus, Colorado’s home. I’ve got to get my family back and get my life situated again. I’ve got to be smart about my finances, and right now, this isn’t a smart thing to do.”
“I’m still going to have an open window for them to come train with me and to bring me out for training camps and seminars and stuff,” he said of his relationship with Alpha Male. “They’re still going to be an affiliate of mine with the ‘Bang Muay Thai System.’ It’s just time to open my own business.”