I've had the feeling for a while now that all the Duane "Bang" Ludwig talk in regards to Team Alpha Male is getting a bit out of hand. There is no doubt that he seems to have had a positive effect on polishing their striking technique, but how godly of a coach is he really? It seems like it's become a media and fan talking point during the year that keeps getting repeated, increasing in fervor as the year is coming to a close.
I posted a comment regarding this in the "Fightnomics breaks down effectiveness of Duane Ludwig as Team Alpha Male coach" post yesterday, but as it didn't have much action after that, I thought that discussing it further in a fan post could be interesting.
Those top guys like Chad Mendes, Joseph Benavidez, and Urijah Faber, have been in the top 3 of their division long before Ludwig showed up. This year they’ve simply done what they always do – beat fighters that are inferior to them. If you look at their level of competition, it's not a surprise that they ended up with clean sweeps. I would argue they had likely won those fights without Bang as well.
Regarding TJ Dillashaw, he was already considered a top prospect, beating two mid-level fighters this this year before losing an ugly decision to Raphael Assuncao. As for Danny Castillo, he grinded out decisions over Paul Sass and Tim Means, which is fine but not a sure sign of some big revival.
So let’s not kid ourselves, they were already great fighters, and the apparent lack of any competent or structured coaching beforehand makes it all the easier for someone to come in and look like Greg Jackson incarnate. I could be mistaken, but it seemed like previously what they had to rely on for coaching was mostly each other, and Master Thong holding pads.
I'm not saying that Ludwig is a bad coach by any means, but I think the gushing has gotten a bit out of hand. It's almost disrespectful to the athletes, and the level of skill and success, that they were able to achieve during the years without Ludwig.
What say you, people of Bloody Elbow? Am I simply being a contrarian asshole like usual for pissing on the Bang parade, or is there something to this?