By now, everyone knows Duane "Bang" Ludwig.
The former lightweight and welterweight mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter has made an astonishingly successful transition from pugilist to coach in the past two years. Under his guidance, Team Alpha Male fighters have gone from perennial also-rans to the first camp to knock off one of Nova Uniao's vaunted pair of champions in Renan Barao.
They looked to make it two-for-two against Jose Aldo at UFC 179.
Ludwig was in the corner for Chad Mendes last weekend (Sat., Oct. 25, 2014) at UFC 179 when "Money" put on the fight of his life in an ultimately futile attempt to wrest the 145-pound title from pound-for-pound great Aldo. That fight was labeled by some as the greatest featherweight title fight of all time.
Perhaps a back-handed compliment, if one thinks about it.
Assuming UFC President Dana White means under the UFC umbrella, since honestly, that's generally what he really means, and that's only seven fights to choose from. Shoot, even if you include World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) post-ZUFFA, we're still only at 16.
In a recent interview with ESPN.com, Ludwig elaborated on the phantom bell:
"The crowd was so loud I didn't hear it myself. I heard the 10-second clacker and knew the end of the round was close, but I didn't actually hear a bell. I found out after the fight during interviews, actually. I heard Dana talking about it. He was the one who pointed it out. I was like, 'Wow, there were two punches after the bell.'"
Takes a bit of the blame off Aldo, I would think, and places it squarely on the head of Goddard.
"If you're looking for someone to blame for that, it's the referee. He should have been on point, knowing there was only 10 seconds left. There wasn't much action at the 10-second mark, so we all heard that. Once Aldo heard it, I think he started unloading. It was a close fight. Those two punches didn't help. He was almost out from that. He didn't know what corner he was in and was on wobbly legs the whole time in between rounds."
I think that aside from the most partisan of supporters, nearly everyone feels this way. Goddard needed to be more emphatic with his step between to end the action from both fighters.
Also of note, Ludwig gave an interesting bit of tactical two cents on one of the reasons he thinks Mendes lost the fight"
"Chad was most effective when he was moving his feet and doing what we worked on. When he stood in the pocket and exchanged he did well too, but those were the times when he also got caught. If we would have moved our feet a little more, we might have been ahead on points but I'm not going to tell Chad how to fight every second. If he's in the moment and feel like he needs to do something, he needs to do that."
It's another point I think I concur on.
Mendes seemed to have the most success early in the rounds with the Dominick Cruz/TJ Dillashaw-like movements, but that particular fighting style is taxing both mentally and physically. Mendes seemed to slow down at the end of each round while Aldo -- who was fighting in a more controlled manner -- would step on the gas.
For more on UFC 179 click here.