Ray Longo is the ultimate trainer
Before orchestrating the two greatest upsets in UFC history, trainer Ray Longo cultivated success stories. The type of story he thrives being a part of but rarely touts.
Before Matt Serra and Chris Weidman registered those improbable championship knockouts, Lee Dolowich just tried to avoid vomiting in the ring...
The BANG Effect: A Statistical Look at 2013's Most Improved MMA Team - DATABOMB
An unlikely new coaching star, Duane “Bang” Ludwig has surged to the forefront of the competitive MMA coaching landscape after a fortuitous change of scenery. Ludwig is the obvious candidate for 2013's “MMA Coach of the Year,” and few would question this, despite little fan awareness of his coaching prowess just one year ago.
Ludwig certainly had a tough 2012 that included three consecutive UFC losses, each one by first-round stoppage, the last of which added a fight-ending and career-threatening knee injury to the insult. But almost immediately after beginning the lengthy rehabilitation process, Ludwig got an unexpected phone call from Urijah Faber, and the creator of the Bang Muay Thai system suddenly migrated from the suburbs of Denver, Colorado to Sacramento, California.
Trainer Cesar Gracie expects Nate Diaz to be his first UFC champ
If Nate Diaz emerges victorious against UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson at Saturday's UFC on FOX 5 event at Seattle's KeyArena, the 27-year-old will become the first Cesar Gracie fighter to hold gold in the UFC.
Gracie's Pleasant Hill, Calif. academy has groomed other talent to UFC title shots, including Gil Castillo, who suffered a loss to then-welterweight champ Matt Hughes at UFC 40 back in 2002. Additionally, prominent jiu-jitsu black belts who now represent the camp – Dave Terrell, Jake Shields and Nick Diaz – also have come up short in recent title fights. Nate's older brother, Nick, is the most recent to walk away without the grand prize after he dropped a unanimous decision to Carlos Condit in an interim welterweight title bout at UFC 143 in February.
So what makes Gracie's latest title challenger likely to bring home the goods?
"If I've learned something," Gracie told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) about his decade-plus prepping fighters to become UFC champions, "it's don't let the hype get to you."