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Midnight Mania! Ludwig says Cruz was a tougher matchup than Garbrandt

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Welcome to Midnight Mania! Tonight we’ve got Duane Ludwig sounding off on Dillashaw-Garbrandt, potential good news on Gastelum, Lomachenko talking MayGregor, Conor McGregor relives one of his memorable moments outside the cage, podcasts, Bang-Kuntz controversy, and much more


Duane “Bang” Ludwig finds himself in an interesting position ahead of the much-anticipated clash between his protege TJ Dillashaw and upstart bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt at UFC 213. (see a recap and reaction to the first episode of TUF here)

As far as the personal beef goes, Ludwig tries to steer clear these days.

“I try to stay clear of the beef. I’m a martial arts instructor. I don’t know why there was a beef at all. I was wrapped up in it in the beginning. Now I focus on the training.”

Woodley does point out that Ludwig’s rocky separation from Team Alpha Male did lead to the current beef between Dillashaw and firebrand Garbrandt. However, Ludwig insists that his choices were entirely to achieve a childhood dream, and any fallout was incidental.

Part of the beef, too, stems from differing accounts of what used to happen in gym sparring sessions. Garbrandt keeps claiming Coach Justin Buckholz has footage of him knocking TJ out. Dillashaw claims that this never happened, and asserts he won roughly 80% of the sparring matches.

In terms of the technical matchup, Coach Ludwig has plenty to say.

“Cody is great if he’s right in front of you. So, how about let’s just not let him be in front of us? It’s gonna involve a lot of footwork. TJ just needs to be TJ. He doesn’t need me to be the champion again. He will be champion again.”

Ludwig also thinks Dominick Cruz was actually the tougher matchup than Garbrandt due to his style.

“The Cruz matchup was a tougher fight because of the footwork and lead up to the fight. With this one, I’ve trained both guys. They know our system from two years ago but we’ve evolved the system. It’ll be the new BMT system against the old BMT system from two years ago.”

In Ludwig’s mind, his Bang Muay Thai system from a few years ago is at a clear disadvantage to the system he teaches now. Of course, few matches are as cut and dried as that, and Garbrandt has several tricks up his sleeve that Dillashaw does not possess. This is clear when Garbrandt handily unseated Dominick Cruz from his throne, a feat Dillashaw was unable to pull off. On the other hand, Dillashaw is far more aggressive and packs more power than Cruz.

One thing seems certain- whether it lasts five rounds or ends in the first, the next bantamweight title fight will be fireworks.

Bobs and Weaves

Vasyl Lomachenko gives his opinion on Mayweather-McGregor

A year ago today? That’s when McGregor’s retirement tweet sent off a firestorm in the MMA bubble and beyond.

Conor is not retiring... but he’s still grateful for the cheese.

Good news on Gastelum?

This experiment by World Series of Fighting seems incredibly risky.

Double MMA.

I just like that we get to talk about Bang-Kuntz again. This guy was on it as it happened:

Yeah I would watch this


lol I just died laughing. @ninjaliz1mil just sent me this. I don't know who this guy is but

A post shared by Felice Herrig (@feliceherrig) on

UFC champion vs. porn star? There’s one for the ‘weird and wild’ books.

Cub Swanson thinks avoiding cookies is going to be harder than avoiding Lobov’s T-Rex punches.

This is quite the resume, frankly. I am 1-0 in amateur MMA, so yeah. That’s me.

This guy gets hype for Demetrious Johnson fights.

He on a whole new level!!! Thanks for the love @rocksolidmma this had me dyin

A post shared by Demetrious Johnson (@mightymouse125) on

Nothing quite like this old Anderson Silva reverse elbow knockout.

These spinning elbows from Gaston Bolanos are gorgeous too:

Quick Hits

  • TJ Dillashaw plans on making selfish Cody Garbrandt pay when they lock horns at UFC 213.
  • Matt Riddle was cut from the UFC after failing two marijuana tests, with Dana White shrugging dismissively, “they drug test in the real world too”. Except, now Riddle is making more money than he ever made in the UFC, doing pro wrestling.

Podcasts and Video

Flyin Brian J is Twitter-verified now, and as a bonafied bigshot, brings you the Swanson-Lobov breakdown:

Luke Thomas on why a league in MMA is a bad idea:

The Promotional Malpractice Live Chat:

The MMA Ratings Podcast, featuring guest T.P. Grant, discussing MMA and competetive grappling, as well as UFC on Fox 23:

George St. Pierre on what will happen to Michael Bisping:

Jack Slack commentating the Tim Elliot-Louis Smolka fight:

Heavy Hands:

Random Land

This piece on Aaron Hernandez’ tragic story is very well-written.

Stay woke, Maniacs!

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