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Saturday, 09/07/2013, 10:49 am

EXCLUSIVE | Duane “Bang” Ludwig Discusses Team Alpha Male’s Recent Success and Their Hunt for UFC Gold | Late Night Cage Side Radio

By JAKE CHASTAIN

| This week on BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cage Side Radio the boys in shop invited Team Alpha Male coach, Duane “Bang” Ludwig, onto the airwaves to discuss several different topics, including the recent streak of success he’s helped bring to the Team Alpha Male camp. Ludwig, who was a fighter in the UFC himself, has helped escalate Team Alpha Male to the next level. Ludwig has aided the team by bringing his BANG Muay Thai philosophies and skills into a camp of already talented fighters. Since Ludwig has started coaching in Sacramento Team Alpha Male has launched many of its fighters into the very top ranks of their divisions. Ludwig was kind enough to take some time to talk MMA with all of us here at BJPenn.com. Here are some of the highlights from Ludwig’s interview with BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cage Side Radio:

Mr. Ludwig was first asked how happy he was with the recent success that he’s been able to help bring to Team Alpha Male. Not only have his fighters been winning, they’ve been finishing fights. Ludwig stated that he is, “Very happy with the success. Very happy with the results. The way things are going are good, for sure.”

“Definitely happy with the wins, and all the wins this year for the team. Things are going good.”

Ludwig was also clear that he doesn’t want to take all of the credit for the success of his team. He admitted, “It’s not all me. I have high caliber, world class athletes.”

“It’s just world class athletes,” he said, “and now they have proper instruction.”

He continued, “There’s some guys that can fight and can’t coach and there’s some coaches that can’t fight but they have good information. I have both.”

He explained how the relationship between him and the fighters works both ways; they all help teach one another and they all learn from one another. He stated that he builds the workouts around their needs and wants at that time.

“We change things on the fly,” he explained. “It’s definitely a give and take relationship. It’s definitely a team.”

Chad Mendes fights under Team Alpha Male and he recently became the first man to ever finish Clay Guida with strikes. Mendes TKOed Guida in the 3rd round of their bout at UFC 164 and is likely, once again, the number one contender in the UFC featherweight division.

Ludwig was asked what the game plan was heading into that fight with Guida. He responded, “The game plan was to step forward a little bit a pressure Clay. We knew he was going to be dancing around and we wanted to make sure we were cutting him off and getting our feet underneath us; a good athletic stance.”

Although Mendes looked extremely sharp and impressive in that fight Ludwig was quick to say, “There’s still a couple of things we need to fix.”

“I think he could have finished Clay earlier.”

With that being said, Ludwig went back to the praise of Mendes and his skills as he explained, “He knows when to explode and when to pull back so, he’s got great composure. He’s a world class athlete and that’s what they do; they adjust on the fly and make sure the moment is not controlling them but they are controlling their emotions to control the moment.”

 Ludwig then made the bold statement of saying, “He’s going to be the UFC Champion, for sure.”

Mendes has already fought and lost to current champion Jose Aldo. Mendes was caught with an early knee and then finished in the first round by Aldo in that fight at UFC 142. Since then Mendes has won four straight fights with four finishes and is now 15-1. Ludwig is confident that a second fight with Aldo will be much different from the first. Ludwig stated, “If Chad goes into the cage and fights like Chad Mendes can and should, he’ll be wearing the belt.”

Ludwig was then asked what Mendes would have to do, specifically, in a rematch with Aldo to get the win. He replied, “What you need to do, specifically, is crack him. If Chad has his feet underneath him and connect with Aldo, he’s going to finish the fight.”

Mendes is not the only standout in the Alpha Male stables right now, though. Urijah Faber is on the brink of another title shot with his recent win over Yuri Alcantara and Joseph Benavidez recently toppled Jussier Formiga at UFC Fight Night 28 in Brazil. Benavidez is not looking for a rematch with Demitrious Johnson for the UFC flyweight title.

With all of the talent loaded in number one contender positions Ludwig is confident that his team will be bringing home a UFC belt very soon. He stated,  “We’re going to get a UFC title once Chad or Joseph Benavidez get their title shots. Whoever gets their title shot first will be our first UFC champion.”

Ludwig then commented on the skills and impressive performance of Joseph Benavidez. He explained, “He’s just such a well rounded athlete. He can wrestle, his striking and footwork is amazing, and his jiu-jitsu, man.”

The conversation then shifted back to Ludwig’s shift from being a fighter to a coach and he was asked if he ever gets the itch to fight again or if he’s enjoying himself more at this phase of his life. He replied, “I’m definitely not making as much money as I was fighting, but I’m happier. That’s for sure.”

Then the hot topic of Ludwig’s marijuana use when watching fight tapes and film was brought up. Ludwig has stated in the past that he likes to watch film sober, then watch film high and marijuana because if gives him a different perspective of the fight, he catches different things that stand out to him, and he it helps him clear his mind of other distractions. When asked to touch on the subject again Ludwig stated, “It definitely relaxes me and helps me enjoy life more and I’m able to have a more open, honest opinion when I’m watching film but fuck man, it’s hard to remember some stuff.”

After laughing about the marijuana topic for a moment the conversation then shifted back to Ludwig’s ability to help Team Alpha Male become one of the most feared and respected camps in MMA today. He explained that he was just doing what he loves and was not really doing it for the recognition, even though it’s nice to know your work is recognized and appreciated. Ludwig explained, “I’m not trying to be coach of the year, I’m just trying to be me.”

Being himself is working miracles with Team Alpha Male and it will be interesting to see if they can bring a UFC title back to their gym in the near future.

We would like to thank Mr. Duane “Bang” Ludwig for taking the time to talk MMA with all the fans here at BJPenn.com and we wish him all the very best as time presses on.

-Jake Chastain

@jchastain45

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