Sometimes little things, casual statements, basic responses, can lead to much larger and longer conflicts. Perhaps that wont be the case here, but trouble certainly seems to be brewing between Team Alpha Male and soon to be former coach Duane Ludwig. Urijah Faber appeared on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani recently, and he had a few less than flattering statements about the team's head coach on his way out the door. (transcript via Shaun Al-Shatti)
"Duane did a great job running his practice and he's passionate about his stuff. We implemented a lot of his drills during our set practices and it turned out great. But he was a little difficult to deal with here and there," Faber said. "And so actually it's kind of a breath of fresh air to have parted ways.
"So there was some friction here and there, but it was just very short-lived and kind of confusing, to be honest. Kind of friction, but then, like, not friction, so kind of up and down."
His comments to Ariel were echoes, somewhat, of his interview with Bloody Elbow's Anton Tabuena back in March when it came to the change of coaching being a positive for Alpha Male.
"I think it's good," Faber told Bloody Elbow, "There was a lot of publicity that came with that whole thing with Duane, but this team has been building for 11 years now. We were looking for a coach, and he came in and everyone made a big deal about it. We learned a lot from him, and from his style, but we need someone that is invested in the long term."
And that may be the ultimate point at stake here, the feeling that the reputation of Team Alpha Male has quickly become the reputation of Duane Ludwig. Faber giving Ludwig a little extra push out the door may be his way of reminding fans that his team has had a lot of success before their implementation of the "Bang Muay Thai System" and he wants to make it clear that they will continue to do so afterward.
Check out the rest of the video, as Faber has a lot to say about his upcoming bout with Alex Caceres, the life and culture of his gym, Ludwig's close relationship to T.J. Dillashaw and the introduction of their new short term coach Martin Kampmann. So, give it a watch.