November 11

Duane Ludwig on TJ Dillashaw: “Dillashaw is the only one who actually wants to be a champion.”


Duane Ludwig, the former Team Alpha Male coach, has a lot of good things to say about UFC MMA bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw’s work ethic when compared to his teammates in Team Alpha Male.

In a recent interview on SiriusXM’s “Fight Club”, Ludwig said that for him, Dillashaw is the only one who actually wants to be a champion. He further explained that Dillashaw exerts the most effort into training and focus as compared to all of the fighters in his team.

Team Alpha Male, an MMA team based in Sacramento, has a lot of famous MMA fighters like Chad Mendes, Danny Castillo, Urijah Faber, and even Joseph Benavidez. Ludwig was formerly the striking coach for this team but just last year, Ludwig officially left the team and opened his very own gym in Colorado. However, even though he is no longer part of the said team, he said that a lot of fighters from Team Alpha Male still go and work with him.

dillashawLast June 2014, Ludwig clarified some things when he had an interview at “The MMA Hour”. When he was asked about his departure with Team Alpha Male, he said, “I’m not really leaving Team Alpha Male. I’m opening up a business in Colorado. It’ll be a good place for the guys to do high-elevation training, and I’ll still go to Sacramento and help in the camps and corner.”.

Martin Kampmann, a UFC welterweight contender, was called to replace Ludwig at Team Alpha Male. Although some fighters from the team may still work with Ludwig every now and then, his affiliation with the team appeared to lessen. After all these events, Dillashaw still remained to be the apple of the eye for the coaches.

Right now, Dillashaw is the only fighter in Team Alpha Male that was able to win a championship in the UFC. Other fighters in the team have aimed for the gold, like Benavidez, Faber, and even Mendes, but all of them did not make it.

Ludwig says some people simply want the success more than the others. For him, Dillashaw has a stronger drive and determination. “He actually believes that he can be champion and he’s the one that puts in the extra work, asks the questions, trains a bit harder, takes less breaks,” Ludwig said. Ludwig was quick to note, that there are some fighters who work really hard as well, like Danny Castillo. It’s just that even though Castillo overtrains himself, Dillashaw is simply smarter on how he does his training.  He knows how focus on his strengths for him to win the fights.

“It was just a difference, if you see the whole Alpha Male team train, T.J. sticks out,” he said.

Dillashaw defended his title against Renan Barao during UFC 173 and won it again over Joe Soto at UFC 177. This Saturday night, he will have a rematch with Barao on Fox 16 headliner in the UFC. When Ludwig was asked about what he thinks on Dillashaw’s success, he says that Dillashaw’s success did not come from luck. It all came from hard work.


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