Duane Ludwig continues to keep his name in the headlines after T.J. Dillashaw became the new bantamweight champion. It’s no secret that ‘Bang’ is leaving his head coaching duties at Team Alpha Male to open up his own gym in Colorado. However reports surfaced earlier this week when Bang said he would still train Chad Mendes for his upcoming rematch with Jose Aldo.
Ludwig spoke with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour about his future with TAM going forward:
“I’m not really leaving Team Alpha Male. I’m opening up a business in Colorado. It’ll be a good place for the guys to do high elevation training, and I’ll still go to Sacramento and help in the camps and corner. Faber and I will have a better relationship if I have my own business and he has his business here (in Sacramento) if we work together.”
When asked about training ‘Money’ Mendes for his rematch with Jose Aldo, Ludwig said the following:
“Chad Mendes and I talked a little bit, so I’m going to figure something out with him to figure out what we’re going to do at that point,” said Ludwig. “I’m not saying he needs me, but his chances of winning the title are better with me than without me. I know that, he knows that and we all know that.”
“Being the leader and a role model (for the fighters), you’re not supposed to have favorites, but I do. T.J. is special to me. I don’t know. It was just meant to be. Obviously the thing lined up perfectly for this bout and the chain of events leading to this. I don’t know if this was predetermined, or if we made this happen ourselves. He’s like a brother to me. I love this little dude.”
“You hear coaches and people say how you’ve never seen anyone evolve so fast, or that this guy is a sponge. In this particular case with T.J., it’s 100 percent true. No B.S. He evolved faster than anyone. That’s what happens when you have a dedicated world-class athlete with the work ethic of a wrestler, and the information and the connection that we have.”
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