Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw, who is coming off a resounding victory in his rematch against former teammate Cody Garbrandt at UFC 227, is the greatest mixed martial arts fighter in history -- according to his head coach, Duane Ludwig.
Dillashaw successfully defended his bantamweight belt earlier this month with a first-round TKO victory over Garbrandt and Ludwig believes his star pupil just continues to get better and evolve in the sport with everyone else playing catch-up.
Ludwig was the head coach at Team Alpha Male in 2013-2014, where he is credited with transforming an already strong camp into arguably the best in the world, winning two consecutive “Coach of the Year” awards from the World MMA Association and helping make TAM “Camp of the Year” in 2013. When Ludwig split from the gym, Dillashaw famously chose to go with him, leading to acrimony between Dillashaw and several of his former teammates, Garbrandt among them.
Ludwig recently spoke to BJPenn.com about Dillashaw’s progression as a fighter while stating he’s the greatest the sport has ever seen.
“The overall goal is to pull out TJ’s potential and get him as good as we can get him as a martial artist,” Ludwig said. “In my opinion, he’s the best martial artist ever. So, we’re continually adding and discovering layers within TJ’s soul, or whatever it is. That’s our goal. Everyone is watching us. Fight week, back stage warming up hitting pads, everyone is watching us. We’re literally leading the evolution of martial arts.”
Dillashaw’s next fight inside the Octagon has not been revealed although he has a number of credible challengers in the bantamweight division including the man who beat him in their last encounter, Dominick Cruz, and the powerful Marlon Moraes who recently finished Jimmie Rivera with a first-round knockout. Newly crowned flyweight champion Henry Cejudo has also publically stated he wants to come up a division to challenge the bantamweight champion.