I bet you just thought of two things, the UFC’s fastest knockout and the coach of Team Alpha Male who has made a camp full of world-class fighters in to a camp of world-class fighters with the striking prowess of a kickboxing champion.
I had the privilege to speak to Ludwig about everything from being nominated for coach of the year, UFC on FOX 9, Team Alpha Male, and Urijah Faber’s upcoming title shot. Ludwig had plenty to say about the level of dedication at Team Alpha Male and broke down what he calls a ‘gym full of killers’
Adam Conklin: How big of an honor was being nominated for Best Coach in the Fighter’s Only MMA Awards?
Duane Ludwig: It’s definitely nice to be back in eyes for the effort that you put in to your art and your craft so it’s pretty cool. It’s a big honor because it’s the biggest thing to happen in my role as a coach.
AC: What is a typical day like at Team Alpha Male?
DL: [Monday] The morning we go over the MMA stuff. We mix it up all together. We talk some striking, we transition that in to the wrestling then we transition that to the ground-and-pound and in to the submissions. It’s a pretty easy process because most fights start standing. We go from the striking, now you’re in the clinch. You’re in the clinch, how are you going to get it down? The wrestling. Now that you have him down, how are you going to keep him down? Again, the wrestling. How are we going to get in to a dominant position, again, we are going to incorporate the jiu-jitsu. It’s an easy process and I just want to make sure we cover those bases. In the evening we get back in there and specifically we work on the BANG Muay Thai System which is incorporating more Dutch style kickboxing.
AC: What is the chemistry like between TAM Alpha Male members as they go through these regimens?
DL: It’s definitely an awesome ‘champions; winning’ energy. I have a room full of 30 athletes and we all seem like best friends so the energy and the atmosphere in there is just phenomenal and it’s a one of a kind energy [more] than I’ve ever been across in another gym. Everybody is super friendly and super nice and take each other’s back. It’s not like there’s two or three good guys, everybody in there as badass, everybody is fucking badass. It’s an interesting gym for sure, it’s a gym full of killers and that is not exaggerating at all.
AC: What was the atmosphere like in the gym leading up to UFC on FOX 9?
DL: It was awesome, high energy. Everyone’s there to help each other out, no one’s there really for themselves, even though it’s an individual sport, but for each individual to perform up to their potential it takes a camp behind them. We definitely have that in the gym and we have everyone at the gym help each other out with fights. It was an awesome 2 months. It’s been an awesome year, 2013 has been an awesome year, it flew by.
AC: Has the ‘streak’ of wins with you as their head coach affected your fighters?
DL: It’s recipe for success. It’s proper information which I have, now I have the dedication of a world-class wrestler and now I have world-class athletes who can perform technique at the dedication of a wrestler. Now we have the proper information. And there’s another little piece in there that people aren’t really aware of, the level of traditional martial arts honor and respect. It’s a couple of layers of things that will breed a champion and it’s gonna happen this year.
AC: Team Alpha Male went 2-2 at UFC on FOX 9. How did the camp react to splitting wins?
DL: The guys who won were happy and the guys who lost were sad, it’s just how it is in this sport, the highs are high and the lows are low. You got to focus on the things you can control and you can control your own thoughts and with that in mind you just have to make sure that whatever the situation is we look at the positive side of it and try to find the lessons that need to be learned.
AC: How will training for Urijah Faber change with this surprise title shot?
DL: He’s always in the gym, he’s always training, he’s always helping out his teammates. He is a very unique individual who makes things happen. More sparring drills and more sparring and more striking to get in to fight mode. He’s always in good shape, his weight is always good. He is a world-class martial artist.
AC: What needs to change the most in this second fight against Barao?
DL: There’s two elements to that. He received a broken rib in that first round so that kind of hurts his performance. That was without me here and now with me here the guys know exactly what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. It’s pretty easy to simplify it once you have the proper information out. They’re no just adjusting on the fly and making things up they have exactly the drills and exactly the combinations that they need to win their fights and that’s what will help them. That’s one of the main keys to their success, the proper information.
AC: Do you feel that given the competitive first fight plus your additional training, that Faber is a clear-cut favorite to defeat Barao?
DL: It would look to be that way. But it would also look to be that way with Joseph Benavidez as well so you can’t count anything out and you can’t toot your horn too much either. On paper, it looks like we’re going to run through him but that’s not always the case so we’ll see what happens on fight night.
Follow Duane Ludwig: @DUANEBANGCOM
Visit his site: LudwigMartialArts.com
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