Earlier we related a story on Urijah Faber making comments on his former Coach Duane “Bang” Ludwig being a tad bit too money hungry. Apparently Faber accused Duane of far more.
Now in an appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, Bang responds. Among the more jarring statements by Faber was that Ludwig repeatedly made African American team members uncomfortable with racially tinged banter, like “stay 25′ away from white women.”
“I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about,” said Ludwig as transcribed by Marc Raimondi for MMA Fighting. “There’s jokes floating around the gym all the time. For him to point me out, like what the hell dude?”
Faber also accused Bang of refusing to train female fighters.
“I wouldn’t say I’m against women’s MMA,” said Ludwig. “I do feel uneasy seeing a woman get punched in the face. That, I don’t like. Women’s grappling and wrestling, that’s cool. But seeing a woman punched in the face, I don’t really necessarily like that. There’s awesome women’s fights, but it still makes me feel a bit weird. But yeah, I don’t like to train women.”
Faber said that Ludwig laid hands on a UFC executive in a misunderstanding over comped tickets, and that that would have gotten him barred from events by the UFC, had Faber not interceded.
“We figured that out,” said Ludwig. “Me and Reed are cool. That was a total misunderstanding. I actually talked with Reed about that, too, and we squashed that.”
Faber’s overall charge was that Ludwig was entirely focused on money, from selling peanut butter at the front desk to charging fighters for private lessons, to repeatedly returning to agreed up agreements.
“I think he’s got a lot going on,” responded Ludwig. “He doesn’t quite keep tabs on the things that he says and things get lost in the shuffle. He’s in the position where no one really questions him. I’ve been around him for two years and no one really questions him. It’s his show, except for when it comes to me. If something that was supposed to happen doesn’t happen, then I’m going to ask you about that. That goes for anybody.
“He does great on the mic, but he might be just a little bit punchy. And I’m not trying to talk crap or whatever. But he gets cracked hard with a lot of shots and I don’t think that helps, either. When you tell me you’re gonna do something, I expect that. It’s called being a man of your word.”
“We definitely had a couple lapses. Every time we talked I thought one thing was said and then apparently something else was said. So there’s multiple times when we had what I thought were agreements and the result was always me getting short-handed. I don’t get it. That’s why we always had problems, because we always had a conversation, we’d agree on certain things and when it came time for certain things to happen, they wouldn’t.
“It comes from him never being questioned and then me questioning him. Like, what the hell? I’m telling you. He’s the man, especially in Sacramento. No one questions him. Whatever he says goes. That’s not just how I operate. I think we’re all equal and if someone says they’re gonna do something, then they need to follow through and do it just like I am. Just like everyone else should be doing.”
Ludwig said that Faber’s beef ultimately stems from fear that some Team Alpha Male fighters will join Bang’s group in Colorado. UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw and Danny Castillo still train on a regular basis with Ludwig. Bang also said that Faber is the sole member of the team that there is a dispute with. And lastly, Bang said he hoped they could put it behind them.