UFC veteran Duane "Bang" Ludwig's signature accomplishment in a 12-year pro-MMA career was his informal recognition as the holder of the quickest KO in UFC history with what appeared to be a 0:04 second finish of Jonathan Goulet in 2006. Unfortunately the official timekeeper somehow clocked it at 0:11 seconds. Otherwise Ludwig was a journeyman, racking up a 21-14 career but never holding a major title.
So far in his new career as a head coach for Urijah Faber's Team Alpha Male, Ludwig is showing signs of being anything but a journeyman. Since Bang took over, Team Alpha Male is 9-0 and while he hasn't coached anyone to a UFC title, there's every indication that he could be very soon.
Ludwig spoke to MMA Mania's Brian Hemminger in an incredible interview that covers many aspects of Ludwig's approach to coaching and his red hot start out the gate. One of the most interesting aspects of Ludwig's approach is his insistence on watching fight tape over and over again. And then, because he takes coaching so seriously, he gets high and watches it again. Then he has a guy in Colorado watch the fights.
No, seriously he said that, check it out:
Duane Ludwig: As far as me evolving as a coach, it's gonna happen. I'm always studying film, looking at fights from all aspects. When I watch a fight, I watch it from A's corner and then I watch it from B's corner. Even with that, I look at the fight again and I alter my own consciousness and I watch the fights again just to make sure, just to get some different looks on things. I actually have another guy in Colorado who reviews film for me as well. From one fight in particular, I get a lot of looks. I watch it multiple times from different stages of consciousness and I have other people watching it. I put more research into fighting than anybody does, more effort into this game than people are aware of, that's for sure.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): What do you mean by altered state of consciousness?
Duane Ludwig: It's freakin legal. Let me address this issue. When I watch film, I watch film normal how I am now. Then I watch film when I'm high on marijuana. I also watch the film again when I have Alpha Brain in my system. I watch film from three different states of consciousness just to get different looks at things. Just to see if maybe I missed a step or a nice little detail just to get different looks on things. I take this serious as hell. So serious that, if the guys aren't making strides, I personally get my feelings hurt because I want them to succeed so much. I feel it, man. "This could be better. Take a step here, a two step there." I care for these fucking guys that's for sure.
The funny thing is, this makes perfect sense to me and you certainly can't argue with the success Ludwig has had so far.
Read the whole interview to see Ludwig's assessment of how many faults each of his top three fighters -- Urijah Faber, Chad Mendes and Joseph Benavidez -- has to fix to take home UFC gold. It's very interesting.
Ludwig is certainly bringing a unique and acute perspective to coaching fighters.