duane-ludwig-9.jpgOn Sept. 4, Joseph Benavidez will meet Jussier Formiga at UFC Fight Night 28 in his third fight this year.

It’s a bout that could put him on a fast track to a rematch with champ Demetrious Johnson, who beat him nearly a year ago to claim the inaugural 125-pound title.

When Benavidez (18-3 MMA, 5-1 UFC) meets the Brazilian flyweight standout in the center of the cage at Mineirinho Arena in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, he’ll be executing strategies devised several weeks prior by Team Alpha Male head coach Duane Ludwig, who took the job at the Sacramento, Calif., gym this past December.

Ludwig’s plans will have been informed by years of experience as a professional muay Thai and MMA fighter, countless hours of footage watched on Formiga (15-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), and, in all likelihood, a few puffs of marijuana.

Ludwig’s admission earlier this year on “The Mike Dolce Show” that he uses the recreational drug to help Team Alpha fighters to devise game plans seemed to come out of nowhere. It certainly took Benavidez by surprise. He had no idea that his coach smoked pot, and the job didn’t exactly come with a job application and a urine test.

But then, as with now, Ludwig’s recreation doesn’t worry him.

“It came out of left field, but you hear people talk about it,” Benavidez told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) while chatting backstage at Seattle’s KeyArena during UFC on FOX 8. “Especially in California, I don’t know if it’s different, but you hear people talking about it, like the most random person … ‘Oh, I just got some weed.’ You don’t really think about it. You just expect people do.

“For me, I don’t smoke, (and) I don’t drink. I live a clean lifestyle. But I just feel that you’ve got to expect nowadays that this guy and this guy and everyone you see kind of smokes weed.”

Benavidez admits he had his own period of experimentation while growing up in Las Cruces, N.M. At one point, he estimated he was being a little bit too adventurous with what he chose to put in his body. Eventually, he decided that he wanted to better himself and make his name outside his hometown bubble, so he quit doing everything.

Just walking around in his day-to-day life, however, he often notices he’s in the minority when it comes to marijuana.

“The more I realize, I’m just out of the loop,” said Benavidez. “I don’t do it, but it’s just like, ‘Oh, he does? What?’ So it never really surprises me, and it doesn’t really matter to me.”

And why would it? Under Ludwig, the team has notched a series of big wins. At UFC on FOX 7, no less than three Team Alpha Male fighters TKOd their opponents (after which they lobbied for a group bonus).

Before the veteran fighter showed up, team patriarch Urijah Faber admitted there wasn’t really a head coach to guide the team. So with the inevitable ups and downs of a talented group of MMA fighters, there was little in the way of a rudder to keep course.

“It’s the job that [Ludwig] is doing that matters, and he’s doing a great job, obviously,” Benavidez said. “So if that helps him … some people want to drink coffee and go to work. He says it helps him. Maybe it wouldn’t help me. Maybe it wouldn’t help you. But if that’s what helps him break down footage and be [obsessive-compulsive] and be obsessed about it and helps him and helps us, that’s fine for me. It doesn’t bother me.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 28, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Danny Castillo, Duane Ludwig, T.J. Dillashaw, Justin Buchholz)

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Yancy Medeiros meets Li Jingliang at UFC on FOX 23 in Denver

  • 29 days ago
  • 6 views

The UFC’s January return to the “Mile High City” continues to fill up with the addition of a welterweight fight. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

John Moraga in for Formiga vs. Sergio Pettis, Drakkar Klose meets Devin Powell at UFC Fight Night 103

  • 21 days ago
  • 25 views

A pair of injuries have forced changes to next month’s UFC return to Arizona. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Aleksei Oleinik replaces Damien Grabowski, meets Viktor Pesta at UFC Fight Night 103

  • 26 days ago
  • 23 views

“The Boa Constrictor” is making his way to Arizona on short notice.Filed under: News read news >>

Don't believe in studying film? UFC newcomer Niko Price thinks you're nuts

  • 17 days ago
  • 18 views

Invariably, there are fighters every card who say they don’t watch their opponents’ past fights because, after all, what are coaches for, anyway? But not Niko Price.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Marlon Vera replaces Bryan Caraway, meets Jimmie Rivera at UFC Fight Night 103

  • 12 days ago
  • 15 views

Marlon Vera has agreed to step in on one week’s notice in hopes of the biggest win of his career.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Carla Esparza meets Randa Markos at UFC Fight Night 105 in Canada

  • 8 days ago
  • 12 views

A women’s strawweight matchup between former UFC and Invicta FC champ Carla Esparza and fellow “The Ultimate Fighter 20” cast member Randa Markos has been added to UFC Fight Night 105.Filed under: Ne read news >>

Former pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva meets Derek Brunson at UFC 208 in Brooklyn

  • 5 days ago
  • 12 views

“The Spider” returns in March. Former middleweight champ and pound-for-pound great Anderson Silva is set to fight Derek Brunson at UFC 208 in Brooklyn. Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

With USADA exemption, Angela Hill meets Jessica Andrade at UFC Fight Night 104 in Houston

  • 2 days ago
  • 6 views

The Invicta FC strawweight champion is returning to the UFC.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Johny Hendricks moves to middleweight, meets Hector Lombard at UFC Fight Night 105 in Halifax

  • 21 hours ago
  • 8 views

Never fear, fight fans. Even if the UFC continues to not have success finding an opponent for Junior Dos Santos to remain on next month’s UFC Fight Night 105 card in Canada, a new matchup has taken s read news >>

Well, that was quick: 'Jacare' Souza meets Tim Boetsch at UFC 208 in Brooklyn

  • 13 days ago
  • 27 views

Only one day after his manager posted a fake Craigslist ad to get a fight, Ronaldo Souza has one.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>