For Duane Ludwig, Christmas came a little early this year.
“One of my students, Blake, actually texted me on Christmas Eve saying, ‘Congrats,’” Ludwig, 33, recently explained to Bleacher Report. “I said, ‘Thank you, but congrats on what?’ Blake texted back, saying that Mr. Dana White tweeted me saying, ‘For (Christmas), you have the fastest KO in UFC history and it will be changed ASAP.’”
“I said, ‘Thank you,’ pulled up Twitter and (saw) Mr. White's tweet and was so happy. I screamed, ‘F yeah!’ pretty loud and tweeted Mr. White back, saying, ‘Thank you!’ I started texting a few people like my wife, Bas Rutten, my manager, Sven Bean and a few others. I replied to a few tweets and was just so happy.”
Of course, Ludwig is referencing his famed victory over Jonathan Goulet at UFC Fight Night 3 in January of 2006, which, on account of a scorekeeper’s error, was incorrectly declared to be an 11 second knockout victory for the Colorado native—although the match should’ve been finished at the four-second mark.
According to Ludwig, this has been a thorn in his side since the summer of 2009, when Todd Duffee finished Tim Hague in seven seconds at UFC 102.
“Mr. Joe Rogan actually MySpaced me a few days or weeks after the fight (with Goulet), telling me that I should have the fastest UFC KO,” Ludwig recounted. “I never really cared until Todd Duffee was all of a sudden a star with his seven second KO. All the media he got from that was crazy. As I got older and wiser about marketing and such, I realized that I could use that same attention to help better myself and in return, help others. It became a very personal issue with me.”
“It bugged me because it was wrong and if things are not equal in my eyes, I become upset very fast. I’m very honest and fair and think everything is earned and deserved and that was mine 100 percent.”
Although Ludwig, who has campaigned the UFC in the past about having the decision overturned, has long had a problem with the ruling, he is quick to admit that his stunning victory nevertheless meant a great deal to the man they call “Bang.”
“My whole game plan was to hit that right hand as hard as I could,” explained Ludwig, who is to return to action against Josh Neer at UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller.
“Going into that fight, I had separated my left shoulder and basically fought with one arm. The whole set up was just crazy. I wasn't training at all at the time. It was two weeks prior to the bout and I was on a ladder in the mountains doing electrical work to get by. My phone rings and it's my manager Sven Bean saying, the UFC just called and wants (me) to fight in two weeks and I said, ‘How much?’ It was a pay cut from my last UFC bout, but it was also a lot more money than I was making working at the time so I said, ‘Heck yeah.’ Coming off two loses and, honestly, I was a bit down on the fight-game at the time. I did that fight strictly for the money.”
“I felt as if I was brought into the fight as just an opponent. From what I understood at the time, Jonathan was already tentatively booked for the US vs. Canada card against Diego Sanchez.”
“My spirits were not too high on the fight game—due to dealings with the Japanese promotions—but the UFC has always been great to me, so I stepped in and took the fight. I knew with my shoulder being hurt that my right hand had to land or I was in trouble. Bas and I did a few drills just prior to the bout and what do you know, it worked. It was pretty simple because I was limited with my attacks, so it wasn't hard to focus on what was needed to win.”
To go with his victory—which Ludwig jokingly noted made him feel like a ninja—“Bang,” according to Dana White's tweet, will soon officially be the man behind the fastest knockout in UFC history.
According to Ludwig, whether it’s the UFC or the Nevada State Athletic Commission—who appear to be unwilling to make the change at this point—that recognizes the record, it is nevertheless more than a footnote in the story of “Bang.”
“The record is very cool to have, because it separates me from every other human being past, present and very possibly future,” said Ludwig, who will someday explain the importance of his record to his children with pride. “That's some pretty cool stuff. Each athlete wants to stand out and this is a very big way to do so.”