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Duane Ludwig: Urijah Faber upset because Conor McGregor 'punked' him on The Ultimate Fighter

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It's all Conor McGregor's fault.

Duane Ludwig thinks Urijah Faber has kept the Team Alpha Male controversy rolling, because McGregor got in his head during the filming of The Ultimate Fighter.

The recent events have unfolded like a melodrama. Two weeks ago on The MMA Hour, Faber went on a lengthy rant about Ludwig, his former coach with Team Alpha Male, accusing him of sexism and racism, among other things. Ludwig denied those charges, admitting that the cause of the issues between the two stem somewhat from Ludwig being an inexperienced businessman.

"So let him do this thing and let him ride his drama wave," Ludwig said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "He's just wrapped up in drama mode from being punked on the show from Conor so much. Conor really got in his head, so he's trying to take it out on me and then it's just overspilling. It's just escalating. Just put the brakes on it, man. Nobody needs this right now."

Last week, Ludwig's prized pupil and UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw left Team Alpha Male to train at Elevation Fight Team in Denver. Much of the move has to do with Dillashaw continuing his training with Ludwig, whose new gym is a half hour from Elevation's MusclePharm facility.

Faber said a few days later on the Stud Show Radio podcast that he and Dillashaw could remain friends, but Dillashaw would not be welcome at Team Alpha Male's gym in between training camps. Those words floored Ludwig, he said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour.

"It's super unfortunate that Faber kicked him out," Ludwig said. "I don't think that's quite supportive or being a friend. I think we should all be working together, especially as martial artists. And for anyone to close the door on somebody else just isn't fair. I don't think that's ethical. It's his decision, but I don't think it's best for T.J. and the guys. They should be working together."

Ludwig said he never wanted Dillashaw to leave Team Alpha Male. Actually, it's Ludwig's desire to continue to work with all the athletes there. Ludwig said he never recruited Dillashaw out to Colorado at all.

"From day one when I started training him, it was one of those things where we are meant to train together," Ludwig said. "But I'm not telling him to leave Team Alpha Male, I'm not telling him to move here. I think it's the best decision for him, but it's also a good piece of the puzzle to be able to work with the team, the Team Alpha Male guys."

The biggest thing Dillashaw will be getting with Elevation, Ludwig said, is dedicated coaches in every discipline. Those coaches will be available to Dillashaw year-round.

"A lot of the gains that are made for an athlete are between camps, when you don't have all the stress and everything going on with a fight camp," Ludwig said. "The gains are made between camps. So look how well T.J. performed last fight and he was going back and forth. Now for him to stay here and make gains between the fights, it's only going to be better."

Dillashaw will arrive in Denver on Monday. He defends his title against former champion Dominick Cruz at UFC Fight Night 81 on Jan. 17 in Boston. Ludwig said Dillashaw is dealing with all the recent drama the best he can.

"I think he's handling it pretty well," Ludwig said. "But having your supposed friends close on the door so you can't be in here, that's not right. I don't think he's handling that very well, which I wouldn't handle that very well, either."

Ludwig said he does not regret his time with Team Alpha Male even a little bit. He only wishes that he made things clearer in negotiations with Faber.

"I 100 percent am glad I took the job," Ludwig said. "I wasn't saying that at all. I love working with those guys."

However, he is not happy about how the events have unfolded, with Faber trying to smear him publicly.

"He's very cunning and manipulative," Ludwig said. "He can manipulate stories very well to paint the picture he needs to paint. ... I wasn't quite sure what I felt I did wrong. Then he's like changing all these stories and manipulating them. He's trying to paint a bad picture of me."

Added Ludwig: "I'm not a frickin' bad guy. I'm here to help people. It's unfortunate for the way he perceived the events. It's crazy to me. But we all see things differently."

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