UFC 146 is just around the corner and fans can expect a welterweight showdown to steal the show before the heavyweights take the stage. Duane “Bang” Ludwig (21-12, MMA) will face off against Dan Hardy (23-10, MMA) on May 26 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. For fans that are expecting a strike-fest, Ludwig promised to “bite down on my mouthpiece and spit bombs” in the upcoming fight.
Still training with the Grudge Training Center in Denver, Colorado, Ludwig explained to the MMA Fight Corner that training at the high altitude not only increases his blood flow, but it helps him increase his stamina and endurance going into a fight. “I’m never at a disadvantage.”
While most people will look at this fight on paper and expect an all out scrap with Ludwig and Hardy exchanging punches blow for blow, Ludwig says it’s not that simple. He said of his opponent, “It’s not that he’s a straight stand-up guy. His wrestling’s okay and he’s got jiu-jitsu as well. I don’t think it’s going to be a straight stand up war. It’ll be all over the place, that’s what I look forward to. My bread and butter is my striking, that’s what I do best and that’s what I look forward to doing.”
Ludwig will be looking to rebound from his loss against Josh Neer that happened at UFC on FX 1 this past January. And Ludwig knows Hardy will be looking to stop his 4-fight losing streak. Bang told us, he’s ready for anything Hardy plans to bring his way. ”I’m in good shape, I’m healthy, so I’m looking for a good fight. It’s going to be fun.” Ludwig also brought to light a rumor on a possible future for Hardy that would keep him in the UFC even he suffered a fifth consecutive loss. “I know from what I read they’re kind of scouting Hardy to be one of the TUF coaches in Australia, that’s what I hear. So that’s a very interesting thing.”
Speaking of interesting, Bang made UFC history in December 2011, when the UFC finally made his 6 second KO over Jonathan Goulet the fastest knockout on record. The fight happened in January 2006 at UFC Fight Night 3 and was previously ruled as an 11 second knockout. It took almost five years for the UFC to rectify their records, though the Nevada State Athletic Commission has yet to make it official in their books. To that Ludwig said, “That’s just typical government work right there. That’s just how it goes, you can’t rely on the government sometimes. But I understand, it’s definitely hard to count. It’s hard to count past ten. So I don’t blame them you know. Even with a video and a stopwatch and everything, it’s hard to do sometimes.”
As for Duane’s career, he’s managed to stay competitive in the UFC throughout his career and broke down what’s kept him the game so long. “I’m always trying to evolve, obviously for myself, for my students, for my training partners.” He added, “You have to in this sport in this day and age, to step up. And I have to keep my focus, and stay intrigued and happy with training. Do new things, get to the next level, the next step. I’m always trying to mix things up a bit.”
We’ll look for him to do just that next weekend at UFC 146.