Surprising news recently came from Team Alpha Male when it was recently announced that head coach Duane “Bang” Ludwig would be leaving the team following TJ Dillashaw’s upcoming bantamweight title bout against Renan Barao at UFC 173 on May 224.
After all, “Bang” was the architect of Team Alpha Male’s recent surge. Ludwig’s patented brand of Muay Thai perfectly complimented the team’s wrestling base, resulting in a ton of wins in the lower weight classes of the UFC.
After recently taking a step back from fighting himself, longtime UFC welterweight Martin Kampmann was rumored to be stepping in as TAM head coach after a successful visit to their camp. Tonight, that news has been confirmed by Karyn Bryant of UFC Tonight:
“They are going to have Martin Kampmann come in now. Chad (Mendes) was telling me that he’s got a great sense of humor, he vibes with the team very well here, so we can look for Martin to be the next coach and continue building upon the things that Duane “Bang” Ludwig has already done with the guys.”
When asked by show co-host Chael Sonnen if that was indeed a done deal, Bryant, who was at the team’s headquarters in Sacramento, offered quite the certain reply:
“99 percent sure guys that it’s a done deal.”
So Team Alpha Male apparently has their next head coach, and they couldn’t have done much better in terms of replacing Ludwig. Kampmann is skilled in all aspects of the fight game, and his background as a kickboxer will no doubt serve to continue progressing the team’s striking.
With team leader Urijah Faber fighting Alex Caceres on the July 5 UFC 175 card and Chad Mendes headed for a pivotal rematch with Jose Aldo at UFC 176 in August, the time was right for TAM to get their ducks in a row.
They got their man. While "Bang’s” success will be tough to duplicate, “The Hitman” era will soon begin for Faber’s talented group of scrappers.
Photo: Eric Bolte for USA TODAY Sports