Though "Bang" has yet to officially retire from competing in mixed martial arts (MMA), he says he doesn't have the "itch" to return to the cage because he is happier being head coach at Team Alpha Male. And the results members of the Sacramento-based team have found with Duane at the helm of their training camps have been nothing short of spectacular, thus far.
Last weekend at UFC on FOX 7, the team pulled off the hat trick as members T.J. Dillashaw, Joseph Benavidez and Chad Mendes all walked out of San Jose, Calif., with knockout (KO) or technical knockout (TKO) victories. Team leader Urijah Faber himself is riding a two-fight win streak with back-to-back wins over Ivan Menjivar and Scott Jorgensen.
While Ludwig appreciates the credit and respect he has received since taking over the camp, he says he shouldn't get all of it as he proclaimed on his recent appearance on "The MMA Hour:"
"They were very successful without me, so that with me, all I'm trying to do is help allow them to reach their full potential of athleticism inside the cage. I'm getting way more credit than I deserve. I do deserve some of it. I definitely love the attention they're giving me and the respect."
Currently sitting on a three-fight skid and rehabbing from a knee injury, Ludwig says he will make an official decision in September after he is fully healed in regards to whether or not he will return to fighting. But for now, he is more than happy playing the role of coach:
"I'd rather keep this role going. I really don't have the itch to fight right now. I'm a much happier human being. I put too much pressure on myself as a fighter, so just coaching these guys and reviewing videos and running classes and living through them, I'm much happier. I enjoy my life a lot more than I used to, that's for sure, 100 percent."
The "true test," according to Ludwig, is to see if he can help members of Team Alpha Male get over the title hump.
In their previous opportunities, Faber, Benavidez and Mendes came up short in their bids to capture a UFC world title. But with the help of "Bang," the California crew is on the right path to correcting mistakes and upping their fight game should they get another opportunity.
What say you Maniacs, do you believe the recent success of Team Alpha Male can all be credited to the leadership and striking expertise of "Bang?" And do you have any interest in seeing him back inside the Octagon, or would you prefer he keeps his post as head coach?