T.J. Dillashaw's coach, Duane'Bang' Ludwig, wanted to see a non-title fight at UFC 177
As the architect of T.J. Dillashaw‘s UFC title run, coach Duane “Bang” Ludwig didn’t feel like Joe Soto deserved a shot at the belt, regardless of what happened to Renan Barao.
“In me, there was some question because, one, Joe Soto is not deserving of a UFC title shot, period,” LUdwig told our partners at SHOOTMedia. “I think it waters down a little bit of the mystique of the UFC title. So I suggested that the fight still take place just not for the belt.”
Fortunately for UFC officials, Dillashaw had no such concerns, and he quickly accepted the reworked matchup and ultimately defended his UFC bantamweight title with a fifth-round stoppage of replacement opponent Joe Soto.
Ludwig, who spoke with SHOOTMedia just hours before Saturday’s UFC 177 event, recalls how the switch went down. He also offers up a little theory of his own sure to create a little tension. Yes, Renan Barao may have pulled out of the contest due to a weight-cutting accident, but Ludwig believes there may be more to the story.
“In the back of his mind, I do think that Barao knew he was up against someone tougher than he realized,” Ludwig said.
To hear more from “Bang,” watch the video above.
And for complete coverage of UFC 177, check out the UFC Events section of the site.