Though he was hoping to make his return to mixed martial arts a full-time gig, Duane “Bang” Ludwig has given in to the realities of the fight game and is returning to K-1 action. “I can make $1,000 or whatever on smaller MMA shows, but I can make quite a bit more fighting K-1,” said Bang.
In fact, he is still under contract with K-1 who owes him three fights before his contract runs out later this year. The first two of those fights are to happen soon. The first is a K-1 Superfight against Thai Boxing legend Ramon Dekker on K-1’s July 20th World Max show in Tokyo, Japan. With 175 wins in his career, Dekker will be a very difficult opponent. Despite his desire to fight MMA, Ludwig is looking forward to this K-1 kickboxing bout, “I want to be one of the best fighters in the world and to be one of the best, you have to beat the best. This should be a really good fight.”
Not only does he have the fight with Dekker on July 20th, but then Ludwig turns around and comes back home to the United States to fight another Superfight. This time, he will be fighting French fighter Remy Bonnel at K-1’s USA show in Las Vegas on August 13th. Of course there is one stipulation to the Las Vegas bout. “The fight with Bonnel will happen about three weeks later as long as I don’t come out with any injuries from the fight with Dekker,” remarked Ludwig.
That’s a pretty tight schedule for a fighter, but that is what it will take to get in all three of the fights that K-1 still owes him according to his contract. Though K-1 seems to want to use Ludwig more in kickboxing rules bouts, there’s a chance that we’ll see him in MMA action before his contract is up. “I don’t have anything to say for sure, but I’m hoping that they’ll use me in an MMA bout for the last fight on my contract,” he said. That would be good news for Ludwig, as he would then get the best of both worlds. He would get to fight MMA and the solid payday that comes from K-1.
What happens after his K-1 contract is up? Ludwig had this response, “I can’t really say, but I know I’ll be fighting somewhere thanks to my great sponsors: Sportsmaker.com who have been working with me, BasRutten.tv, ROFMMA.com, NHBFights.com, GLCDirect.COM, RealFightGear.com; and thanks to K-1 and MMAWeekly.com for the time. Of course, as soon as I know what’s next I’ll have it up on my web site at DuaneBangLudwig.com.”