UFC Bantamweight star Urijah Faber has said that the split between Team Alpha Male and head coach, Duane Ludwig has been a breath of fresh air for the squad.
Ludwig's efforts with the group of fighters have been lauded ever since he joined in December 2012 but he is set to leave the group after this weekend's UFC 173, where he'll corner for TJ Dillashaw. It will be the latest chance for a Team Alpha Male member coached by Ludwig to win gold, after Joseph Benavidez and Urijah Faber both failed in their efforts to unseat champion Renan Barao.
Despite coaching these fighters into bantamweight title fights and also Chad Mendes to number one contender status in the featherweight division, Faber says that Ludwig leaving Team Alpha Male will be for the best.
"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 on the MMA Hour podcast.
"And so actually it's kind of a breath of fresh air to have parted ways."
"And actually, since we made this announcement of him leaving, it's been the smoothest between he and I, in the business side of things, since he's been here."
So far, Ludwig's future plans, win or lose, are to head back home to Denver, Colorado and continue to work on his own gym and brand - BANG Muay Thai. As for his replacement, UFC welterweight, Martin Kampmann has been bought in on a temporary basis, but Faber says he is one of the many potential coaches he's interviewed.
"Martin is going to come in just temporarily," Faber explained.
"He's got some other job offers and some other interests. See how he feels, how we feel with him. It's more an immediate fix where we'll pay him to come in for a training camp and be a coach, and then we're still continuing to look. He may be a guy that we're considering. We've got a lot of interest."
"It's a long process." He added.
For now though the focus will be on making Dillashaw overcome the odds, with Barao the heavy favourite. However, if Chris Weidman's victories over Anderson Silva have taught us anything, it's that nothing is certain in MMA and the UFC.
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