Duane “Bang” Ludwig has been fighting since he was a teenager, so his life has been about the sacrifices that a fighter makes.
The long, disruptive hours in the gym, constantly watching your diet, endless travel, and time away from the family. And for a man like Ludwig, that last one is a big deal. He’s made it a point to keep his training camps at home, or close to home, recently, having a family he cares about.
Making the trip to Germany for UFC 122 actually ended up being a tremendous sacrifice for Ludwig, probably one of the most poignant sacrifices of his fight career.
His wife, who was due to give birth later this month, ended up having the baby on Wednesday, a couple days after his poppa left for Germany.
That type of sacrifice, coupled with eight months of recovery from a severe leg injury in a losing effort in March, propelled Ludwig to dig deep in his fight with Nick Osipczak.
Starting off strong, Ludwig got dropped in the latter portion of the opening round. Osipczak poured it on, trying to finish, but Ludwig dug deep to survive the round and turn the tide.
“I lost the first one for sure, the second one could be a draw, the third one I won just because of the pressure,” Ludwig said after the fight.
“I felt like I was behind a little bit, just had to keep the pressure, keep fighting,” he added in a post-fight interview on UFC.com.
The judges saw it about the same way Ludwig did, handing him a split decision victory after three rounds.
“I could just see his tank dropping, just like a video game when you keep hitting the opponent and the bars just keep dropping,” he explained. “As his dropped, mine stayed steady. So it was good.”
Good enough to take home a win to the baby boy that he has yet to meet. And that, you could see as the tears welled in his eyes, meant a lot to him, having missed his son’s arrival into the world.
“It means a lot to me because I’ve been on the shelf for a while. I just had a baby boy born three days ago, Duane ‘Bang’ Ludwig, can’t wait to meet you buddy,” Ludwig finished, a crack in his voice.