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

Former champ Douglas Lima meets Chidi Njokuani at Bellator 156 in June

  • 29 days ago
  • 5 views

Bellator’s summer return to Fresno, Calif., has its latest fight, and it will feature a former welterweight champion.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Knockout Radio LIVE: Jon Jones Coach Greg Jackson and the Week’s Top Stories

  • 28 days ago
  • 8 views

Tune in Wednesday, April 6, at 6 p.m. EST, for Knockout Radio LIVE! with MMA coach extraordinaire Greg Jackson and a discussion on the week's top MMA news! read news >>

Knockout Radio Podcast: Jon Jones Coach Greg Jackson and the Week’s Top Stories

  • 27 days ago
  • 5 views

Join Knockout Radio for the podcast of their April 6 broadcast as Randy Harris and the crew talk with MMA coach Greg Jackson and discuss the week's top MMA news! read news >>

Jordan Parsons meets Adam Piccolotti on Bellator 154 main card in San Jose

  • 26 days ago
  • 1 views

A clash between two young lightweights is slated for the Bellator 154 main card with Jordan Parsons set to take on Adam Piccolotti.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

MMAjunkie Radio (1 p.m. ET): Joseph Benavidez, Dann Stupp and 9-year anniversary

  • 23 days ago
  • 4 views

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT), and we celebrate the show’s nine-year anniversary with guests Joseph Benavidez and Dann Stupp.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Patricio Freire now meets Henry Corrales in Bellator 153 co-headliner

  • 23 days ago
  • 7 views

Patricio Freire has a new opponent for this month’s Bellator 153 co-headliner.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Hall of Famers Liddell, Griffin to coach on The Ultimate Fighter Latin America season 3

  • 24 days ago
  • 0 views

For the first time in UFC history, the The Ultimate Fighter series will feature two UFC legends and Hall of Famers, Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin, as coaches in the first season to be filmed and read news >>

UFC Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin to coach 'TUF: Latin America 3'

  • 23 days ago
  • 8 views

The upcoming season of “TUF: Latin America 3” will feature an interesting wrinkle as retired UFC Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin will handle coaching duties.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin to Coach TUF Latin America 3

  • 23 days ago
  • 22 views

For the first time in UFC history, the The Ultimate Fighter series will feature two UFC legends and Hall of Famers, Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin, as coaches. read news >>

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2180 with Joseph Benavidez and Dann Stupp

  • 22 days ago
  • 4 views

Stream or download Friday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Joseph Benavidez and Dann Stupp.Filed under: News, Radio, UFC read news >>