When Urijah Faber’s former coach and former UFC veteran Duane “Bang” Ludwig left Team Alpha Male to pursue other ventures, everything appeared seemingly “honky-dory.” Such was not the case and Urijah took to the MMA Hour yesterday to vent his frustrations in payment with Ludwig.
“So right off the bat (after initially looking to hire Duane), I go to a GLORY fight in Las Vegas, and one of the guys who trains out with Duane in Colorado is like, ‘hey man, I just want to warn you, Duane is gangster about money.’ And I was like, what do you mean? He said, ‘I’m just telling you, he’ll fight people over money. He gets really weird about money.’ And I’m thinking, I’ve had never an issue with anybody about money anyways, so not a big deal, whatever.
“Oh my gosh, is that foreshadowing. Unbelievable.
“So [Ludwig] comes out and does two days with us. We start talking on the phone. I said, ‘look, this is what we can offer.’ This is the year where I fought once in 13 months, and I was the top breadwinner for this team at that point. I fought one time in 13 months, and as far as money raised from contributions to the team, it was far below what we were going to offer him as a coach. I said, ‘you know, we had a bad year this last year, Joseph (Benavidez) sat out and had that one fight, Chad (Mendes) had the one title fight, I had my title fight and I only got to fight once. Judging on that, this is what we’ll be able to afford paying you,’ which was a good salary, especially for a guy who had no money coming in and was in a hard spot.
“I said, ‘we could do something where it’s this salary or five-percent of purses, whichever is larger.’ I talked to all the guys and no one was willing to give up their discretionary bonuses, except for me, which turned out to be a huge problem because discretionary bonuses, no one knows you get them. They come discretionary, right? So then I said, ‘you know Duane, because I funded this team anyways and I always contribute more, because it’s my team, I will contribute my discretionary bonuses, because sometimes they’re large, to make sure that we meet that salary so we get to that point where we have enough, and also when the five-percent gets bigger, then you can have that.’ He’s like, ‘okay, okay.’ I put all of this in writing. Salaries and everything else.
“Seriously, like two days later, Duane calls me and wants more money.