Duane Ludwig – MMA Coach Biography

Duane Ludwig
DOB: August 4th, 1978
Place of Birth:Denver, Colorado, United States
Gym: Ludwig Martial Arts
Location: Denver, Colorado
Martial Arts Background: Muay Thai
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:170 lb (77 kg; 12 st)
Weight Class:Lightweight, Welterweight
Fight Records: 21-14(MMA) 14-7(Kickboxing)
Notable Fighters: TJ Dilashaw

Duane Ludwig’s Muay Thai career

Duane Ludwig started training Muay Thai at 15 and quickly picked up the martial art. He would start his amateur career after training a while and was immediately successful at the sport.

Ludwig one 12 of 14 amateur Muay Thai fights and would win numerous amateur titles. Including 3 national and regional titles during his amateur career.

In 2000, Ludwig would make his pro Muay Thai and win by decision, then winning his first title in his second. He would go on to win his next 3 fights before losing a split decision in his first K-1 bout.

His pro kickboxing career would continue until 2006. In that time, Duane Ludwig would go 14-7 and win 2 more titles. The K-1 Max Champion and the ISKA Muay Thai Middleweight Championship.

Duane Ludwig’s MMA career

At the same time, Duane was fighting professionally in kickboxing/Muay Thai, he was fighting pro MMA. Ironically enough also making his pro MMA debut the same year he made his pro kickboxing career.

In MMA, Ludwig was coached by legend Bas Rutten, who had moved more towards coaching fighters. Duane was one of Bas’ prize students and was with him for the early part of his career.

In his first 11 fights before getting to the UFC, Ludwig would go 9-2. With wins over future UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver and veteran Charles “Krazyhorse” Bennet.

Ludwig would win his UFC debut by split decision against Genki Sudo before losing 2 fights in other promotions. 

Duane Ludwigwould then go against Jonathan Goulet and knocked him out in the first 6 seconds. The official time was 11 seconds, but the unofficial time was 6 seconds. Making it the fastest knockout in UFC history that stood until the Masvidal/Askren KO at 5 seconds.

During the later stage of his career, Duane Ludwig began training with Trevor Wittman in his home city of Denver.  He would train there until he retired from MMA in 2012. Ending his career with a 21-14 record.

Duane Ludwig and Team Alpha Male

After officially retiring from fighting, Duane Ludwig would turn to coaching fighters. He was inspired by former coaches Bas Rutten and Trevor Wittman to help train fighters be the best they can be.

He was approached by Urijah Faber to become a striking coach at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California. The two seemed to be made for each other. Ludwig being one of the best lightweight strikers of all time and the best lightweight MMA gym in the world.

The gym was already full of great fighters, but Ludwig’s coaching seemed to take them to another level.

In his first 4 months with Alpha Male, he cornered 3 Alpha Male Fighters on a UFC card in Sacramento. All three of the fighters he coached won their fights by KO/TKO. Putting the lower weight classes on notice that Alpha Male were going to be hard to beat.

During the year and a half he was with Alpha Male, they won 7 fights in impressive fashion. 2 wins by Faber, 1 win for Benavidez, 1 win for Mendes, 2 wins for Dillashaw, and 1 for Castillo.

Duane Ludwig claimed that it was all the fighters abilities that got them with wins. He just filled the gaps.

Alpha Male departure and gym opening

The relationship that was meant to be ended in just over a year and a half since it started. Duane decided to step down as the striking coach at Alpha Male and go start his own academy in Denver.

It was an abrupt move that was widely reported as a rough breakup. Faber was upset with his striking coach’s departure and felt blindsided by the decision. 

From Ludwig’s view it was a financial decision for his family to go build his own academy in Denver.

Ludwig Martial Arts

Upon moving to Denver, he would open Ludwig Martial Arts and develop his own fighting system. Bang Muay Thai Martial Arts System.

It’s a fighting system that Duane Ludwig had been developing for years. The system was inspired by his former coaches Bas Rutten and Trevor Wittman mixed with Ludwig’s style.

This system is taught within Ludwig’s gym as well as 40 other gyms in the country.

TJ Dillashaw

Duane Ludwig has trained numerous high caliber fighters, but there is one that stands out above all of them. The former UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw.

Upon Ludwig becoming the striking coach at Alpha Male, he and Dillashaw created a tight bond. Before being coached by Ludwig, Dillashaw was a good fighter, but with Duane, he became a champion.

In just their second fight together, Dillashaw would win the UFC Bantamweight Championship by TKO against Renan Barao. TJ would defend the belt twice and win both by TKO before losing a split decision.

Even though he lost his title, he would quickly bounce back and win 4 fights. Including regaining the title in a grudge match with former teammate Cody Garbrandt twice.

Dillashaw would lose his title to flyweight champion Henry Cejudo and then get suspended for violating USADA’s guidelines.

Duane Ludwig’s Legacy

Duane Ludwig has only been coaching full time for less than a decade, but he has made a giant wave in MMA. In this short period of time, Ludwig has proven to be one of the best striking coaches in the world.

He won coach of the year two years in a row in 2013 and 2014. Also helping Alpha Male win MMA gym of the year in 2013 at the World MMA Awards.

Today, Ludwig is still growing his academy, Ludwig Martial Arts, where he continues coaching the world’s best fighters. Along with his academy, Ludwig sells his fighting system to numerous MMA academies across the US.

He also shares his techniques on the website Dynamic Striking and sells his instructionals on the website.