Urijah Faber talks sleepless nights, lessons learned & the bright future

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 05: Uriah Faber celebrates his submission win over Alex Caceres in their bantamweight fight at UFC 175 inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 5, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 05: Uriah Faber celebrates his submission win over Alex Caceres in their bantamweight fight at UFC 175 inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 5, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Urijah Faber has likely done and seen it all over the course of his 12-year championship career. Unfortunately, that includes plenty of bad with the good.

Still, the collective ordeal he and his Team Alpha Male have gone through with former coach Duane "Bang" Ludwig has been one of the most draining experiences the "California Kid" has ever gone through.

"It really has been," he admits to FOX Sports.

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"I've lost more sleep over this situation than any other one in my career. And it's my own fault for trying to help someone out who didn't really appreciate it. At the same time, there was zero way of predicting the future."

Both Faber and Ludwig have insisted that they more than kept up their respective ends of the bargain while Ludwig coached Team Alpha Male. Ludwig claims that he was somehow "short-changed" with payment by Faber, but Faber insists that during the coach's time with his team, he paid him more than they had originally agreed upon, in fact doubling the former UFC fighter's pay.

Both men agree that there was not a written contract signed between them so it is unlikely that they will ever agree on those matters. What is beyond dispute, however, is that the fall-out after Ludwig's departure has included a lot of negativity through traded insults and allegations.

For a man who inspires his team by always staying positive and who can brush off even the most insulting barb from Conor McGregor off with a confident smile, staying positive throughout sleepless nights over the situation with his former coach has been challenging at times. "I do try to stay positive, and maintain a positive environment for my team," Faber says.

"But you know what, that doesn't mean that the real world isn't happening all around you. I've been through things in my life, from my sister having an accident, things with my brother, my parents getting a divorce. We all go through things, in life. You try to stay positive, but you can't ignore bad things that happen. You just try to work through them."

Part of what Faber claims he and his team had to work through while Ludwig was coaching them was racist comments and a sexist attitude towards Alpha Male members, in addition to alleged bullying over money. With all that having happened, according to Faber, one has to wonder why he didn't let Ludwig go as head coach even before the coach could leave.

Faber says that it was hard to grasp the full picture as it happened. "It's not that I felt trapped in any way to keep him despite problems we had, because we were winning with him as coach. We've always won as a team. We won before him and we've continued to win after him," he insists.

"There's so many things I'm managing on any given day, so many places I have to be. So, it was more of a matter of stories about him started coming in from this person, that person. Or this issue or that issue came up between us.

"And with everything going on, it was difficult to focus on it as one big issue. I had planned to talk to him about these issues, but then he left."

While Faber admits to being personally tried by the past couple years, he maintains that his team has only bonded more tightly because of it. "I think it brought the team closer together, if anything," he says.

Given how badly he says things went with Ludwig, Faber has certainly learned some lessons about hiring a coach for Team Alpha Male. "Oh yeah," he sighs.

"The thing I learned the most was to trust your gut instinct. And, just to be careful when you're coaching someone on marketing, or when you're trying to pump someone up. Sometimes they don't appreciate it. I feel like I created a monster."

Even though he feels that way, Faber says that he won't prevent any of his teammates from training with Ludwig in Colorado or anyone else, should they want to. "You know, I don't rule this team with an iron fist. I never tell people what they can't do with their time, or their money," he says.

"People can train where they want to."

Faber wants to keep Team Alpha Male as the same successful, healthy squad that he set out to make it when he founded it nearly 10 years ago. He sees nothing but continued success for the Sacramento mega-gym.

"If you saw this team when it started out - and you know what, he was absolutely incorrect in the things he told you about the gym and the team. I started this all in 2006. There was a documentary made on me and the process of me doing it. So, for him to say the stuff he did about me not owning things and how we're just some mats in a corner of a gym that isn't mine, is just silly," he continues.

"But anyway, if you could have seen where we started from and to where we are, now, with world champions, number one contenders, stars, guys who have been with me since they were literally 10 and 11 years old to now being professionals, boy, we sure have accomplished a lot.

And you know what, if anyone wants to leave the team, no one keeps you here. We don't force people to come or stay. And we won't let anyone's negativity drive us down. I see so many more great things ahead for Team Alpha Male in the future."

The future hall of famer also sees his own personal future being bright. However, despite some extra stress and fewer hours of sleep, here and there, Faber insists that his California life is as sunny as ever.

"I'm about to film a movie, I just finished filming TUF, I have a fight scheduled in December. I have a great team, family and friends."

"Everything in life that is good, I have."