The drama between Urijah Faber and T.J. Dillashaw may have come to an end. Tensions were high between the two after Dillashaw had left Team Alpha Male for Elevation Fight Team in Colorado. The 29-year-old was to train under the tutelage of Duane Ludwig — former TAM coach — who had personal issues with Faber in the past.
Prior to UFC Fight Night 81, Faber and Dillashaw appeared to be promoting a potential bantamweight championship fight down the line, but things changed when Dominick Cruz dethroned TJ in Boston, Massachusetts last week.
“The California Kid” feels sorry for his former teammate and says he was manipulated into changing camps.
“I feel bad for T.J., because I know what a competitive guy he is, and that guy really trains his butt off,” Faber said backstage after Cruz’s win. “Getting manipulated by people here and there and going for money over where he’s built, that’s all second-hand to the fact that he’s a human being, and he’s an emotional guy, and he’s going to take this really hard.”
Faber misses mentoring Dillashaw but can’t foresee the former bantamweight champion ever returning to the team.
“When he lost to (Raphael) Assuncao, I had to give him a pep talk,” Faber said. “I asked him, ‘How are you doing?’ And he said, ‘Pretty down and out.’ All I said was, ‘You can’t be so emotionally invested with a win or loss like that, otherwise, you’re not going to enjoy this thing and that’s going to hurt you.’ He was like, ‘Thank you.’ I’ve been mentoring that guy, so I feel for him.”
“It’s a weird situation,” Faber said. “I don’t foresee that. What he started to do, once I told him he couldn’t be in the gym because he’s not on the team, he started recruiting our guys. It’s like this cancer, where you give someone a little bit of doubt or fear in your mind, that stuff’s contagious.”
The TAM head coach believes he is next in line for a title shot against Cruz after beating Frankie Saenz at UFC 194. The two have a heated rivalry dating back to 2007 when Faber submitted “The Dominator” in the WEC. Cruz avenged his loss at UFC 132 and has openly mocked Team Alpha Male in post-fight victories.
(Transcriptions via MMA Junkie)
About the author