Colorado native Duane “Bang” Ludwig broke out on the MMA scene in 2000 and quickly made a name for himself as a devastating striker with knockout out power in both of his hands and both of his feet. Ludwig first started training Muay Thai at the age of fifteen. At the beginning of Ludwig’s fight career, he spent most of his time training under the tutelage of the great Bas Rutten. In Ludwig’s second fight with the UFC at UFC: Ultimate Fight Night 3, he earned the fastest knockout in UFC history with his four second knockout of Jonathan Goulet. In addition to holding the fastest knockout in UFC history, Ludwig has fought a list of “who’s who” in the lightweight division. Ludwig recently sat down with the MMA Corner to discuss everything from how he got his start in MMA to how well his ankle is healing as well as his desire to move up to the welterweight division.

MMA Corner: What got you started in MMA?
Ludwig: The start of my MMA journey began when finding kickboxing fights became difficult. I started MMA about 10 years ago actually and just jumped back and forth between kickboxing and MMA.

MMA Corner: How is the ankle healing?
Ludwig: My ankle is healing pretty good. On July 21st I had 1 of the 3 screws removed and the bones are healed. My doctor released me to start working out and building my leg strength and balance back up. I am back at the gym training.

MMA Corner: How quickly do you want to get back into the cage?
Ludwig: With being medically released already, I’d like to get back into the cage as soon as possible. I’m thinking November would be the best time for me and I would love to get at least one more fight in this year.

MMA Corner: How important is it to you to fight at welterweight?
Ludwig: Fighting at welter weight is very important for me. There are a handful of reasons for my want to move to the welterweight division. Obviously, making the actual weight itself will be easier but with that being said, moving to welterweight would allow me to focus my attention in other areas. Most of the time when I’m training for a lightweight fight, I am focused on the weight drop so much that I’m not getting better as a fighter as much as I’d like to. I’m training to lose the weight and not actually get better as a mixed martial artist. The weight drop consumes me. Right now I’m walking around at 200lbs and I’m not too fat either so I’d be a good size welterweight.

MMA Corner: You have always been known as a heavy handed lightweight, do you feel that you will have the same knockout power against welterweights?
Ludwig: With me fighting at welterweight, yes, I will still have KO power.

MMA Corner: How Much of a focus have you put on improving your wrestling and Brazilian Jui Jitsu?
Ludwig: Right now both my wife and I have made some very interesting decisions which will allow me to focus more on my ground game. I have been focusing a lot more on my ground and wrestling. My family and I are moving to another town to be closer to the gym and this will make things a lot easier for us all the way around when it comes to training. With me being a 7 minute drive from the Kline brothers Jiu Jitsu academy and a 10 minute drive to the Grudge gym, making training sessions will be a lot easier.

MMA Corner: You have been competing as a professional for over ten years now, even though you just turned 32 years old. How long do you want to continue fighting?
Ludwig: Yes, I have been doing this for a long time and I have refocused a lot of things so that what ever time I do have left, will be spent in the areas that are needed most. Short answer, I love what I do and plan on fighting for as long as I can.

MMA Corner: How would you compare your training at Grudge Training Center with the training that you recieved from Bas Rutten?
Ludwig: The training at Grudge has been great, we have a lot of really good guys that all help one another. It’s a family type atmosphere and training with Bas is a lot different as it’s a lot of one on one attention. Training with Bas is very explosive and intense and Grudge is more group training.

MMA Corner: You are currently on a two fight losing streak (obviously your recent loss was due to the broken ankle), with two fights left on your contract ,how do you bounce back and get back to your winning ways?
Ludwig: The key to bouncing back is to have time to focus and train healthy.

MMA Corner: If you could fight any fighter in any weight class who would you fight and why?
Ludwig: If I could fight any fighter in any weight class it would be Takanori Gomi again because as always, I take these fights on two or three weeks notice and show up without the best training camp behind me. That fight bugs me because of the sudden weight drop which made it easier for my skin to cut. That is how the Japanese promotions like to schedule American fighters though, two or three weeks out. I’m just always up for a fight so I take these fights, they’re personal challenges for me, to see how I will perform with x amount of training or x amount of weight to drop and such. That’s also why I accepted the fight with BJ Penn after not rolling for over 1.5 years and fighting on two weeks notice again. I like the challenges.

MMA Corner: You are a pioneer of this sport, what do you say to the younger fighters that are training to get into the big leagues?
Ludwig: For the future fighters, I would say to wrestle, its the easiest transition to MMA.

MMA Corner: What is next for Duane Ludwig?
Ludwig: The next thing for me is to get healthy and start on my welterweight quest.

Ludwig is one of the true fighters that this sport has to offer. He has never shied away from a fight in his life and he has always set his sights on the toughest challenges possible. It will be very interesting to see how well he does with his move to the welterweight division. The welterweight division better watch out because one of the overall toughest fighters in mixed martial arts is moving to that division.

About The Author

Josh Davis
President and Site Director

Josh Davis is the owner and President of The MMA Corner, LLC. He has been a fan of mixed martial arts since seeing UFC 1 in his hometown. In addition to his The MMA Corner responsibilities, Josh is the editor of Scrapp! Fight Magazine. Josh has also written for MMA Unleashed and MMA Sports magazines. Josh also manages some of Colorado's best up and coming fighters and is dedicated to the positive promotion of the sport.