UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw left his longtime home of Team Alpha Male late last year to join Elevation Fight Team in Colorado, and also work more often with former Team Alpha Male coach Duane Ludwig. Dillashaw’s move received lots of attention in the mixed martial arts world and opened up a potential matchup with former teammate Urijah Faber.
Dillashaw is still close with most of the fighters and coaches out of Sacramento’s Team Alpha Male, including UFC veteran Justin Buchholz, who will be cornering the titleholder for his fight vs. Dominick Cruz at this Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 81 in Boston.
“We’re actually sending out Justin Buchholz in [Dillashaw’s] corner to help make sure the job gets done,” Faber told FOX Sports. “If you look at it from a pure financial standpoint, that’s a fight people want to see and that’s the reality of things. He came from diapers to a world championship under our banner.”
Someone from Team Alpha Male cornering Dillashaw won’t be routine, however. According to Faber, this will be the last time someone from the Sacramento gym will be cornering the current champion, especially with Faber most likely next in line for a title shot.
“This will be the last time that we send someone out to his corner,” Faber said. “Justin will be out there to hopefully calm the nerves of Duane Ludwig, who’s a nervous mess in the corner. That guy would probably pass out or crap himself is he’s not medicated properly in the corner. It’s got to be a little unnerving for T.J. going in there with a new team, but hopefully he gets the job done and we can have a big fight. I’ll take the belt from one of my own.”
Dillashaw isn’t as open to a matchup with his former teammate, but has said he’ll sign the contract for a fight with “The California Kid” if that’s the fight the UFC wants to book. And regarding the cornering situation, he doesn’t believe Buchholz would pick sides if a fight with Faber fight was to happen.
“I bet Justin will probably play neutral and not be in anybody’s corner, probably not try to help out,” Dillashaw told MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani. “Just for his own better being and wanting to stay friends with everyone, I’d imagine. We haven’t really talked about it, I guess we’ll worry about that when we get there, but that’s probably the way I see it.”
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