Duane Ludwig Says He Would Be In T.J. Dillashaw’s Corner For Fight With Urijah Faber

T.J. Dillashaw defied the odds last Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada, by upsetting the dominant Renan Barao. ‘The Viper’ scored a thrilling fifth round TKO over Barao, and claimed the ufc bantamweight title as reward for his efforts. The 135-pound division now has a new lease of life, as does Team Alpha Male who bag their first UFC title.

It comes at a point of transition for the now famed MMA gym, as they lose their head coach Duane Ludwig. ‘Bang’ has been a big influence for the likes of Urijah Faber, Danny Castillo, Chad Mendes and the new bantamweight kingpin Dillashaw. A rift with ‘The California Kid’ seemed to sour the situation after Ludwig announced his departure, and this ties in with one of the biggest questions after UFC 173; What if Faber and Dillashaw fight?

Well, Ludwig says he will be in the corner of the new champion, as he speaks with MMAJunkie.com:

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“I would (coach T.J. against Urijah), T.J.’s my boy. “I’m going to come and help out for the fighter camps, but my business will come first,” he said. “But I’ll definitely always make time for T.J. and a couple of the guys. We have a special bond, and it’s not something I will ever let go.”

“There’s a couple of guys who are special to me, (and) T.J. is definitely the No. 1 special guy to me, for sure, 100 percent,” Ludwig said. “He’s a guy that we have the tightest bond, he’s learned the most, gained the most, and he’s become a martial artist.”

In an ironic twist, it may be ‘Bang’ who helps T.J. Dillashaw take out the founding member of Team Alpha Male if they ever fight. Faber actually recruited Ludwig as the team’s head coach, as he continues:

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“I’m talking to you right now because of Urijah Faber,” Ludwig said. “He’s the guy who put together this team; he’s the guy who called me to come out and help him coach. I wouldn’t be in this position without him, nor would T.J. T.J. didn’t walk into Ultimate Fitness. Urijah went out and recruited him; he recruited Chad Mendes, also. So it’s not like they were homegrown champions. He’s a mastermind himself. He has a great eye for talent.”

It’s never easy when the champion of a division has friends as contenders, but more often than not they choose not to fight. GSP and Rory MacDonald, Renan Barao and Jose Aldo, DC and Cain Velasquez all avoid each other. It seems that the same may not be said for Dillashaw and Faber, perhaps they fall in to the Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans category.

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“The win was a crazy moment, for sure,” Ludwig said. “I saw that playing out for months now. Actually, the last year and a half; [Barao] had already been in our sights with most of the guys (at Team Alpha Male) since he’s the main guy in the division. If we could beat him, we could beat anybody.”

We’ll keep an eye on this situation, as it could have huge ramifications. That all depends on whether Faber beats Cacares, and we all should be well aware of the harsh unpredictability of MMA by now. Keeping in mind that it may still be a possibility, who would you pick in a fight between Faber and Dillashaw?

Outer image courtesy of USA Today Sports