Last week, reigning bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw announced his departure from Team Alpha Male (TAM). The 29-year-old parted ways with the camp in favour of training full time with Duane Ludwig at Elevation Fight Team (EFT) in Colorado.
Dillashaw cited financial security as the primary reason for joining EFT, as the former TUF finalist will be getting paid to train with the team, but many feel as though escalating tensions between Ludwig and TAM caused the split.
While former teammate Chad Mendes said the California-based camp will always be “buddies” with T.J., the champ says he’s banned from visiting the team.
TAM owner Urijah Faber says Dillashaw was never kicked out of the gym and feels he’s playing the victim card.
“It’s unfortunate,” Faber told MMAJunkie radio. “I haven’t listened to the interviews, but it sounds like T.J.’s trying to turn himself into a victim like he was kicked out of our gym, and that’s by no means what happened. He said, ‘I’m from now on, I’m going to be doing all my training camps and be representing a new team,’ and that was a choice that he made and I have to respect that.
“I don’t feel sorry for the guy, the fact he wants to represent another team and get paid to do his thing, but still wants to represent our team. But it is what it is.”
Teammate Cody Garbrandt also claimed Dillashaw was portraying himself as a victim on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
“I think he was playing the victim, and it’s like, we’re all tight with him, it’s cool, (but) it’s just making it harder. Do you want to stay with us or do you want to be out there? You can’t be in-between.”
T.J. Dillashaw will defend his bantamwight title for the 3rd time against former champion Dominick Cruz on January 17th at UFC Fight Night 81 in Boston, Massachusetts.
(Transcriptions via MMAJunkie and MMA Fighting)
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