Retired lightweight and welterweight fighter Duane Ludwig had a breakout year as a coach in 2013 as the head instructor at Team Alpha Male. Stars like team founder Urijah Faber, Joseph Benavidez, T.J. Dillashaw and Chad Mendes excelled under Ludwig's coaching but the 2013 Yahoo! Sports MMA Trainer of the Year recently announced that he was leaving the team to return home to Colorado and start his own gym, BANG Muay Thai.
Ludwig's final hurrah with Team Alpha Male will come this Saturday at UFC 173 as he corners Dillashaw in his bid to wrest the UFC bantamweight title away from champion Renan Barao. Faber recently spoke with MMA Fighting and revealed that, though Ludwig will be missed, his depature is welcome in some ways.
"Duane did a great job running his practice and he's passionate about his stuff. We implemented a lot of his drills during our set practices and it turned out great," Faber said.
"But he was a little difficult to deal with here and there," Faber said. "And so actually it's kind of a breath of fresh air to have parted ways...And actually, since we made this announcement of him leaving, it's been the smoothest between he and I, in the business side of things, since he's been here."
Faber also announced that he is considering applications from a number of coaches to take over the reigns at Team Alpha Male but that, for the time being, UFC welterweight Martin Kampmann will fill in on a temporary basis.
"Martin is going to come in just temporarily," Faber detailed.
"He's got some other job offers and some other interests. See how he feels, how we feel with him. It's more an immediate fix where we'll pay him to come in for a training camp and be a coach, and then we're still continuing to look. He may be a guy that we're considering. We've got a lot of interest."
Kampmann, 32, has not fought since losing to Carlos Condit in August, 2013, and has taken a leave from competition after sustaining multiple concussions. The long-time top 170 pounder has coached out of Randy Couture's Xtreme Couture gym in Las Vegas for years.
What do you make of Faber's comments? And, do you think Team Alpha Male will continue to flourish after Ludwig is gone?
Let us know in the comments section.
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