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.
A year ago today. What a day/week that was. https://t.co/J4e0sNaQv8— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 19, 2017
Conor is not retiring... but he’s still grateful for the cheese.
I'm thankful for the cheese.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2017
Good news on Gastelum?
This experiment by World Series of Fighting seems incredibly risky.
Here’s the e-mail sent to fighters. Most notable? It states: "Every fighter will receive a regular paycheck each month." pic.twitter.com/I18nTAekZz— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 19, 2017
I just like that we get to talk about Bang-Kuntz again. This guy was on it as it happened:
Bang-Kurtz line movement is screaming fixed fight. I think we see Kuntz do this to Bang tomorrow in the 1st seconds: https://t.co/EAVrsj7a9O— Fight_Ghost (@Fight_Ghost) November 28, 2015
I am biggest MMA conspiracy theorist there is, but I tell ya, Bang is not fighting a fixed fight. 1 round to go. Korean mob on pins, needles— Fight_Ghost (@Fight_Ghost) November 28, 2015
Oh shit! Oh shit! Bang wins! Bang wins! Bang wins! Get this man in a witness protection program now! Korean mob gonne be livid! A rat!— Fight_Ghost (@Fight_Ghost) November 28, 2015
Yeah I would watch this
We will never know the true, full story of Bang and Kuntz. One day I hope for an HBO “Legendary Nights” special to break this tale down.— Fight_Ghost (@Fight_Ghost) December 3, 2015
UFC champion vs. porn star? There’s one for the ‘weird and wild’ books.
One of the rare UFC champion versus porn star bouts in MMA history, plus, pre-Ellenberger foot-stuck-in-cage drama. https://t.co/3NcDv3n86J— Jordan Breen (@jordanbreen) April 19, 2017
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.
I'm 7X Brazilian bjj champion , 4x world champion , TUF Brazilian champion , unbeaten on UFC, what about u?— Leonardo Santos (@LeoSantosbjj) October 12, 2016
This guy gets hype for Demetrious Johnson fights.
Nothing quite like this old Anderson Silva reverse elbow knockout.
These spinning elbows from Gaston Bolanos are gorgeous too:
- 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:
This piece on Aaron Hernandez’ tragic story is very well-written.
Stay woke, Maniacs!