Five times World Muay Thai Champion and MMA fighter Duane “Bang” Ludwig (20-11) is at home nursing a broken right hand which he suffered on the way to his victory over British competitor, Nick Osipczak (5-3) at UFC 122, on November 12th at the Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany. I spoke with Bang at his home in Colorado, where he is mending his hand and enjoying his newly born first son, Duane Bang Ludwig Junior.
By Rick Caudle
RC: Duane, You just got back home after enduring a three round battle with Nick Osipczak. How are you feeling now?
Bang: I feel great. My son was born on the 10th and I’m just enjoying spending the holidays with my family. We call him Duane Junior, and his real middle name is Bang.
RC: It must have been very frustrating having to spend the time to heal the broken ankle you sustained in your match with Darren Elkins (11-2) at UFC Live 1 on March 21st. How did the ankle injury occur?
Bang: He shot for a take down in the first round and my leg folded up underneath me as I went down. I had three breaks in my ankle. One bone broke in two places!
RC: Did the ankle bother you at all during your fight with Osipczak?
Bang: No, not really. It healed up nicely and I didn’t think about it all.
RC: Now you have the fracture to your right hand. At what point did you know it was injured?
Bang: I broke it in the first round. It fractured in two places. They did the surgery and it’s in a cast now. It will be several weeks before I can start to use it again. But, in the meantime, I’m glad I have this opportunity to be with my wife and kids.
RC: I know you've been fighting as a Professional since the late 1990's. With all the pressure of competing and knowing you could be a father again at any moment, was it hard to keep your head together while you were in Germany for UFC 122?
Bang: Not really. Things have been crazy at my house for the last month or so. We just moved and things are still in boxes. But, no matter what’s going on, I’ve learned to focus on the fights. I don’t get caught up in the hype, or think about how many people are watching me on TV, or anything like that. Fighting is my job and I go into to every one of them just wanting to do my best. This is how I make a living.
RC: I know when you’re not training or fighting, you are teaching. Is that something you still enjoy as well?
Bang: I love to teach. As one of my good friends told me years ago, with all my experience, it would be a shame not to share what I’ve learned with eager students. Besides the knowledge I give them, I can make sure they get a good fitness routine going. I want to help change people’s lives in a positive way. I think teaching helps to spread the word and keep the sport going.
RC: You’ve fought in K-1, KOTC, and Strikeforce. How do you like competing in the UFC?
Bang: They are great to work for. They take real good care of their fighters. I’m going to keep the ball rolling. I have one more fight on my contract, which should happen in March of 2011.
RC: Any idea who it will be against?
Bang: Not at this time.
RC: Congrats on the new addition and thanks a lot for taking the time to speak to me and your fans. We all want to wish you a speedy recovery and a Happy Holiday Season to you and your family. We’ll be rooting for you in your next UFC fight in 2011.
Bang: Thank you Rick. I appreciate your support and I can’t wait to get out there and put on a show for all my friends and fans.
Please visit Bang’s website at: www.duanebang.com