The unthinkable happened Saturday night as T.J Dillashaw shocked the world as a 7-to-1 underdog and not only defeated, but dominated Bantamweight king, Renan Barao. Very few people outside of Team Alpha Male gave Dillashaw a chance but he ignored the naysayers and became the first team member to bring home UFC gold to Sacramento. Many are now asking what is going to happen since coach Duane “Bang” Ludwing is leaving the team to start his own gym in Colorado. In the post fight interviews, Dillashaw said all the right things. “I’m going to continue to train with Team Alpha Male, but I’m going to cross train with Duane.” said Dillashaw, “I’ll go out and train with him when I don’t have a camp. I’ll fly him out when I’m in camp. I’m going to continue to work with Duane, he’ll be in my corner.”
I don’t buy it and I’m here to tell you what my prediction on how this story is going to turn out when the dust settles.
Urijah Faber recently went on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani and talked about the departure of Ludwig from the team. He said “Bang” was a difficult to deal with and now that he has announced his departure from the team, they have been getting along better from the business side of things. Based on those comments, I get the impression that he wont like the idea of the team’s only champion also being associated with another gym, especially Ludwig’s. Ludwig has been credited for the team’s success in the last 2 years and will certainly translate to the success of his new gym.
I think Faber will also be saying the right things when he is asked about Dillashaw’s training plan. But I believe that after one training camp of Dillashaw going back and forth between Colorado and California and brining in an outside coach to train for a championship fight won’t sit well with the team or the new coach that will be coming in to replace Ludwig.
From the outside looking in, many people would say that he is actually part of Ludwig’s team because, when preparing for a fight, Dillashaw’s head coach wont be the coach from his “home team”. This will eventually cause friction between he and the Team Alpha Male members and I foresee Dillashaw becoming a full time member of Ludwig’s team by his second title defense.
This will become one of the best storylines in the bantamweight division as top contender Urijah Faber will feel like he has the blue print to defeating Dillashaw since he saw him come up from college wrestler to UFC champion. It will be reminiscent of Jon Jones and Rashad Evans at the Jackson/Winkeljohn team.
Based on the scenario at hand, I feel like this is the way things will unfold for the newly crowned UFC bantamweight champion. But what do I know? Regardless this will be very interesting to follow in the coming months.