2013 was a big year for Team Alpha Male. Their fighters went 13-0 through September of last year, right up until Urijah Faber, Joseph Benavidez, and TJ Dillashaw ran into divisional roadblocks. Dillashaw dropped a bout to Raphael Assuncao to put his title hopes on temporary hold. He rebounded quickly with a win over Mike Easton. For Benavidez and Faber, the bumps were a little more severe. Both men dropped stoppage losses to their respective divisional champs. Now, UFC Tonight announced that head coach Duane Ludwig will be stepping away from his role with the team.
Ludwig has gone on record in the past to say that he only had a handshake agreement to stay with Team Alpha Male for about a year, so this doesn't come as a great surprise. Still, given the degree of success he seemed to have in evolving the camp's striking, it's still a little jarring to see him move on. Duane Ludwig spoke to MMA Fighting about the split and his plans for the future.
According to Ludwig, it's time to head back home to Colorado and start his own gym. "I'm moving back to Colorado to open and run my own gym and business," Ludwig said. "Time to build my own brand. All is good here in Sacramento. Love the guys here, but I have to build my own business."
Faber also recently spoke to Ariel Helwani about a potential replacement for Ludwig, indicating that Mark Hominick and Dan Hardy would be potential names on his short list. We'll see who steps in to the alpha role at Alpha Male come May.