Duane Ludwig gives his own assessment on a would-be fight between former teammates T.J. Dillashaw and Urijah Faber.
After T.J. Dillashaw successfully reclaimed the UFC bantamweight title against Cody Garbrandt at UFC 217 in New York City early this month, Urijah Faber bared the idea of coming out of retirement to fight his former teammate. Dillashaw, meanwhile, sees this match-up as his “easiest payday ever.”
Dillashaw’s striking coach Duane Ludwig unsurprisingly agrees but was speaking based on how he knew both fighters.
“Not to be disrespectful, I’m not trying to be an a—hole in any way, but that would be a pretty easy fight for T.J,” Ludwig said on a recent MMA Hour appearance (via MMA Fighting). “Anything can happen in a fight, but because I used to coach both of them, I used to watch them spar many, many rounds, so I have memories of which direction the sparring rounds could go.”
“(Dillashaw) does improve and Faber doesn’t improve,” Ludwig added. “He had a very hard time picking up my system. He’s just set in his ways and that’s good because it’s been successful, but the sport has evolved and he hasn’t so it would be in my eyes a pretty easy fight for T.J. and I would like to see it just because they’d both make some money off it, it would be good for the sport, in every direction it would be good.”
Ludwig was once a part of Team Alpha Male but had a falling out with the entire team when Dillashaw decided to train full-time with him in Colorado. It then caused a lot of tension between the two of them and their former training partners, and it was evident during TUF 25, wherein Dillashaw and Garbrandt were opposing coaches.
But after all is said and done, and the dust had cleared after UFC 217, Ludwig is hopeful that all parties involved finally get to bury the hatchet.
“I’ll always make time for a lot of people, even after the fight with Cody, I had a heart-to-heart with Danny Castillo, it was really emotional for me,” Ludwig said. “I generally love and care for those guys, we’re a family and a team and to have this drama, f—ing I was crying and shit, I was like, ‘Man, I love you guys, if you need anything please let me know, I’m sorry there has to be drama.’”
“It just goes back to my personality, if I’m in, I’m all in… I just want to say I still love those guys, I’m sorry that there’s drama and hopefully we can move on.”