Coach Duane Ludwig says he's cool with Team Alpha Male – except Urijah Faber

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC

One of MMA’s biggest rivalries – one that includes fighters and coaches – comes to a head tonight at UFC 217, but it’s unlikely to end there.

In the pay-per-view co-headliner at iconic Madison Square Garden in New York, bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) takes on former titleholder, past training partner and current rival T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC).

The bout features the two of the best 135-pounders – Garbrandt is No. 1 and Dillashaw is No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings – but fans aren’t tuning in just for the competitive nature of the bout. After a week of trash-talk, accusations and social-media bickering, Garbrandt and Dillashaw fight for ultimate bragging rights.

One man who will have a front-row seat to the grudge match is former UFC fighter Duane Ludwig, the ex-head coach of Garbrandt’s home at Team Alpha Male. “Bang,” though, had a high-profile split with the camp and its founder, Urijah Faber, and the coach took former Team Alpha Male fighter Dillashaw with him.

It was an ugly divorce – one that played out very publicly. But Ludwig maintains he doesn’t have a problem with Team Alpha Male, and he said current coach Justin Buchholz is a “great” one. He’s still fond of those guys – with one notable exception.

“I love all those guys (at Team Alpha Male),” Ludwig told MMAjunkie Rado. “Let me say that – if you guys quote me on this, I love Team Alpha guys. It sucks that there’s drama.

“I had drama between Faber and I, and it’s carried over into the team now. But between the team and I, I love those (expletive) guys. I really do. We had a lot of great memories together, and it sucks to kind of be in this position. The drama is between Faber and I, and it’s spilled over into the team. But again, man, I love those guys.”

Ludwig said he didn’t work much with Garbrandt during his time at Team Alpha Male, though he does remember plenty of sparring sessions with the two, and he said he thinks Dillashaw had the upper hand.

As for tonight? A lot has changed in the past couple years, and both vets have likely evolved into new fighters. Still, Ludwig said, he’s confident with his game-planning.

“I feel like Cody is a pretty easy puzzle to solve,” he said. “But, you know, you can’t take anything for granted in this sport.”

At the sports books, Garbrandt is a nearly 2-1 favorite, but when bad blood is involved, you never quite know what to expect. And while Ludwig has mixed feelings about seeing two former students fight each other, there’s a silver lining.

“The fact they’re getting paid to spar on Saturday night – I mean, they used to spar all of the time for free,” Ludwig said. “Now, they’re going to get paid for it, and that’s an easier way to look at the situation.”

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw burying hatchet after UFC 217? We asked Urijah Faber

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

UFC 217 features three title fights, and in the buildup to tonight’s event, it’s not exactly been a banner week for sportsmanship.

Among those bad-blood championship bouts is a pay-per-view co-headliner between bantamweight titleholder Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) and former teammate/current rival T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC).

We’ve had steroid accusations, leaked training footage, and a few heated face-offs.

But when all is said and done between the former Team Alpha Male stablemates tonight at Madison Square Garden Arena in New York, will the beef be squashed? Will the fighters – and their camps – bury the hatchet?

“Nah,” Team Alpha Male founder and retired UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber told MMAjunkie Radio. “It’s just a really awkward situation. It really is awkward. I don’t know. Maybe.”

Dillashaw, the former bantamweight champ, famously left Team Alpha Male and reunited with the camp’s former head trainer, Duane “Bang” Ludwig, in 2015. It prompted UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor to famously call Dillashaw a “snake in the grass” – an insult Garbrandt quickly adopted.

Faber, though, knows this isn’t a typical dust-up – the kind fighters sometimes use to promote single bouts against a single opponent. Yearlong feuds aren’t so easily dismissed and forgotten, especially when it was seemingly reignited each week with airings of “The Ultimate Fighter 25,” on which Garbrandt and Dillashaw served as opposing head coaches.

Still, Faber is ready to turn the page.

“Just moving on is good for me,” he said. “I’ve always just tried to move on in general.

“I honestly haven’t watched ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ and I haven’t watched any of the buildup to this fight. I haven’t really paid much attention because I just don’t like that awkward feeling, to be honest. It is what it is. We’ll see how things play out.

“But at the moment, this is a war.”

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2557 with Urijah Faber, Duane Ludwig, Mickey Gall

Stream or download Thursday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Urijah Faber, Duane Ludwig and Mickey Gall.

Faber talked about his busy weekend, which included supporting Lance Palmer at PFL: Fight Night on Thursday and bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt at UFC 217 on Saturday. Ludwig, despite all the animosity with Team Alpha Male, wanted to be clear that he loves all the guys at the Sacramento-based gym. His only differences are with Faber. Gall feels like more fighters are taking the cue that he and others before him laid out, being more vocal post-fight and connecting with the promotion and fans on upcoming matchups.

You can listen below or stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com.

Filed under: News, Radio, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber remains comfortably retired, 'no temptation' to fight just because

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

If you watched the “SnoopCast” alternate stream during the first season of Dana White’s Contender Series, then you’ve seen just how much Urijah Faber is enjoying retirement.

Faber, who hung up his gloves following a win over Brad Pickett last December, clearly had a great time providing a fresh spin on MMA commentary alongside Snoop Dogg for the inaugural eight-fight first season of DWCS. And it was apparent that he’s comfortable with life outside the octagon.

But still, the 38-year-old Faber recently told MMAjunkie Radio he could be lured back into the octagon, though he made it clear a return wouldn’t be possible just for the sake of it.

“There’d be a few scenarios where I would jump in there but not just ready to jump in for anybody obviously,” Faber said. “I mean, I absolutely am in tact with my mind and body, and I feel better than ever, having rested over half a year now under my belt. I’m staying busy, man. I’ve got a lot going on. I love a good fight, and I love a good story. As far as just wanting to jump in for the heck of it, there’s no temptation there.”

And why would there be? It’s not like Faber (34-10 MMA, 10-6 UFC) has anything to prove.

Although he never won a UFC title, he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame on the strength of his pre-UFC resume, which includes holding dual featherweight and bantamweight titles for WEC and King of the Cage, respectively.

Also keeping Faber satisfied is the number of projects that have kept him busy, not the least of which was filming alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for next year’s “Rampage” movie.

In short, don’t expect Faber back inside the octagon anytime soon – if ever again.

To hear more from Faber, watch the video above.

And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2538 with guests Daniel Cormier, Urijah Faber

Stream or download Friday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Daniel Cormier and Urijah Faber.

Cormier co-hosted most of the show and covered topics that included rival light heavyweights Jon Jones and Anthony Johnson. Faber said he’s happy in retirement, but could be swayed to come back with the right matchup and pay day – even though he’s not actively looking for it.

You can stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com or below.

Filed under: News, Radio, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Daniel Cormier (in studio) and Urijah Faber

Filed under: News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Daniel Cormier, who’s in studio, and Urijah Faber.

Cormier, the reigning UFC light-heavyweight champion, is our in-studio guest host. UFC Hall of Famer Faber helps us preview UFC 216.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Urijah Faber defends 'gentleman' and fellow DWCS commentator Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg may have angered a few fighters, but at least one UFC Hall of Famer still has his back.

The decision to bring the rapper on board as a commentator on “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series” was received with mixed reactions. While some praised the added comedic value and flavor, Snoop Dogg’s lack of knowledge of the sport, as well as somewhat indelicate comments about fighters, received some criticism.

The ambivalence turned to animosity last month, after the rapper went on an expletive-filled tirade against Conor McGregor after the UFC champ’s showdown with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather. The Instagram video quickly gained steam, prompting UFC fighters like Matt Brown and Colby Covington to speak up.

But there is one MMA personality who’s still cool with Snoop Dogg. While retired fighter Urijah Faber may be a little biased after eight weeks of sharing the DWCS booth with the rapper, the UFC vet went on the rapper’s defense during a chat with “Submission Radio”.

“Man, I thought he (Snoop Dogg) did amazing,” Faber said. “The funny thing is, you know, what you get with Snoop is just a guy that’s being extremely real and passionate. It was cool. It was just a different type of eyeball on the fights. He’s a guy that’s just saying exactly what he sees. If a guy is laying on his back, he’s not thinking, ‘Oh, is he going to go for a knee bar?’ he’s thinking, ‘Why is the guy laying on his back?’

So he has a good knowledge of the sport from a spectator level. But it was fun to kind of teach him and just realize that like, this is just purely watching a fight with Snoop Dogg. Not him having to be biased, not him having to do this – even I made a joke that he was going to be banned from the first fight after the Conor McGregor fight because I think he was probably drunk and had said some stuff that pissed a bunch of people off.

“But, I mean, the guy’s just real, so I can appreciate that and I had a lot of fun. The way he treated me and other people was pretty great, he was a gentleman and as real as it gets.”

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Blue Corner, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC featherweight Yair Rodriguez explains potential move to Team Alpha Male

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UFC featherweight Yair Rodriguez’s quest to be the best could take soon him to Sacramento.

Rodriguez (10-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC) aims to cross-train – and get some more sun – after several years in chilly Chicago.

The 24-year-old standout has checked out super gyms Alliance MMA, Kings MMA, 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu and Team Alpha Male. In the latter, he sees a good fit.

“I’m just looking around to see what is best for me, what’s the kind of training I’m looking for,” he said backstage during this past Saturday’s UFC 215 event in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Rodriguez said he liked the work at Chicago’s VFS Academy, where he migrated after participating in a development program for Mexican fighters at the famed Jackson-Wink MMA in Albuquerque, N.M. But in the end, the environment proved a little too harsh.

“When I’m in my house, I want to rest or mediate or go to the beach, and sometimes in Chicago that was really hard,” he said.

Rodriguez still trains with Donald Cerrone and could head back to the UFC welterweight’s “BMF” ranch as he prepares for a UFC Fight Night 118 headliner with fast-rising Darren Till.

Rodriguez said he could also return to Jackson-Wink, or even get in some work in Iowa, where UFC welterweight Mike Perry trains.

But the young upstart wants some different looks after a high-profile setback against ex-lightweight champ Frankie Edgar. Team Alpha Male, which houses several top UFC fighters, including UFC bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt, is a leading contender.

“I’m just trying to see from an outside perspective where I’m failing,” Rodriguez said.

The UFC featherweight has yet to handle the details of the move, like where he’ll live. But he said there’s an open invitation from Team Alpha Male founderUrijah Faber for his start. The two met recently during a trip to Mexico City.

“It was in my plans anyways,” Rodriguez said. “But now that Urijah told me, it makes things a lot easier.

“I’m just looking for new air. New looks. More experience when it comes to partners. They have Cody there, (who) has a lot of experience. It’s because of that that I’m moving.”

“Painter” doesn’t plan to go it alone. He’s already asked Faber about possibly bringing striking coach Mike Valle to Team Alpha Male.

“In the next few weeks, I’ll be doing some changes in my training camp and my life,” Rodriguez told MMAjunkie. “Big changes take a lot of effort and energy, but I’m willing to do it to get better and perform better in my next fights.”

To hear from Rodriguez on his future, check out the video above.

And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Did Mayweather vs. McGregor do 6.5 million PPV buys like Urijah Faber claims Dana White said?

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC

When he’s not sipping gin and juice or dodging Snoop Dogg’s vape pen, Urijah Faber apparently is getting fans the inside scoop on “The Money Fight.”

Tuesday on the set of Dana White’s Contender Series, the UFC Hall of Famer’s Instagram story captured the UFC president apparently giving the coveted pay-per-view buys number for Conor McGregor’s boxing showdown with Floyd Mayweather.

We can’t be sure what White said, since the feed – saved by MMAjunkie contributor Chamatkar Sandhu – started a little late. It starts at the point White says “million pay-per-view buys” without the total, but Faber’s words are crystal clear on the number he heard: 6.5 million.

If that’s true, the number obliterates the pay-per-view record set by Mayweather’s “Fight of the Century” against Manny Pacquiao, which did a reported 4.6 million buys.

At the $99.95 price point advertised for the high-definition feed, “The Money Fight” printed almost $650 million in revenue, or $50 million more than Mayweather-Pacquiao. Even if only half ordered the HD feed and the other did the standard feed for 89.95, it still comes out ahead by about $17 million.

Consider that number in the face of widespread piracy reported to siphon almost three million viewers, and it makes the number all the more impressive. Plus, it doesn’t even include the event’s live gate, sponsorship figures, or other ancillary revenue streams.

Now, all they have to do is split the dough.

McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC, 0-1 boxing) made a disclosed $30 million to lose a 10th-round TKO to Mayweather (50-0 boxing) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Mayweather, meanwhile, took home a disclosed $100 million. How much of that goes to the UFC, which signed on late as a co-promoter of the event alongside Mayweather Promotions, is the million-dollar question.

With technical difficulties causing massive outages on the UFC’s online network, a chunk of that money could be going back to the fans. Whatever the final number is, though, it’s gotta be big – and it couldn’t come at a better time with the MMA promotion struggling this year on pay-per-view.

If White’s big smile is any indication, it was a much-needed home run.

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch as Snoop Dogg chills, smokes a blunt and calls Dana White 'Contender Series' premiere

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Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

The sale of recreational marijuana in Nevada kicked off July 1, just in time for the premiere of “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.”

Why does that matter? Because Snoop Dogg, obviously.

The UFC made quite the splash when it announced Snoop, along with Urijah Faber, would be calling an alternate broadcast of “DWTNCS.” And with Nevada’s new law taking effect right before the July 11 premiere episode at UFC Gym in Las Vegas, let’s just say fighters in the octagon weren’t all that was getting lit up.

Check out the video above for highlights of Snoop and Faber on the call.

And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie