The ongoing feud between the members of Sacremento-based gym Team Alpha Male and the UFC’s former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw is showing absolutely no signs of letting up ahead of TJ’s coaching stint on the Ultimate Fighter opposite Cody Garbrandt.
Dillashaw, who left MMA pioneer Urijah Faber’s Team Alpha Male to follow striking coach Duane Ludwig when he left to start his own gym, came under a lot of criticism from both his old teammates and MMA fans alike for what they all perceived to be disloyalty on the part of the former-champion.
Though camp-swapping happens all of the time in mixed martial arts, the morals put forth by Faber’s Team Alpha Male are ones that put a strong emphasis on brotherhood and for Dillashaw to make the move away in the manner in which he did, was seen as a massive show of disrespect to the guys he grew up training with.
Now, with Dillashaw set to coach opposite the UFC’s current bantamweight champion Cody “No Love” Garbrandt on this year’s edition of the Ultimate Fighter, sparks are expected to fly early and often as Cody and his coaching staff (which includes the aforementioned Faber) will be exposed to their old team-mate on a frequent basis, something that will no doubt add to the drama in what will surely be an excellent season of TUF.
Dillashaw spoke to journalists recently at the TUF 25 media day (via MMAFighting) about his current relationship with the gym and how he feels that his old mentor Faber was the one responsible for creating the drama that has now engulfed his career.
“Cody should have no involvement in this at all. He was coming in, I was on my way out, for the most part. We were never friends. It wasn’t like I did anything to dishonor him or whatever. I think it’s more Urijah pumping these guys up and continuing to push this trash and build this team, which is money in his pocket. Every guy that fights from there pays him. I think it’s him being the mastermind behind this whole thing.”
“You think you make friendships for a lifetime and they seemed to turn pretty quick. You’re disappointed with certain people. I wasn’t always close with everyone. I wasn’t ever really friends with Garbrandt. We weren’t really that close. But guys like Justin Buchholz, the head coach, he was always in my corner. Danny Castillo. Guys like that. You really kind of lose a lot of respect for how they’re acting and their friendship you thought you had.”
As far as the future is concerned, Dillashaw seems unworried about the young, fiery Garbrandt and as far as the footage he supposedly has of him knocking TJ out in practice is concerned, the former Ultimate Fighter finalist couldn’t care less about one minor occurrence that happened behind closed doors.
“They can post the video of whatever happened in a split second, but we all know how the majority of practices went down. I know how I feel and I know that I’m the better fighter and I was the one putting it on him the majority of the time. Everyone’s got their days, but I’m by far the better fighter in that room.”
The Ultimate Fighter : Redemption will feature a cast comprised entirely of former TUF contestants, with Dillashaw and Garbrandt taking the reigns as coaches. Episode 1 will air on April 19th, on FS1.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena