With T.J. Dillashaw now expressing a willingness to fight Urijah Faber, we’re going to be getting more and more in public from the two of them. Faber’s latest response came in an interview with MMAJunkie.com, where he said the UFC Bantamweight Champ seems to be trying to play the victim about getting cut off from Team Alpha Male when, in reality, he simply made the choice to leave their team.
“It wasn’t like we had a discussion in talking about what T.J.’s next move is,” Faber commented. “I had heard some things through the grapevine; I actually confronted him about it, and he assured us that there’s no way he’s going to be leaving, and then a week-and-a-half later, he kind of let us know that he had a house leased and he’s making a move and not representing the team any more.
“..It’s unfortunate,” Faber continued regarding the rift between them. “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.”
Penick’s Analysis: It seems like it was the right time for Dillashaw to make a move regardless. From the sounds of comments on both ends, things weren’t quite working with Dillashaw at TAM, and a change needed to be made. While it’s caused a bit of chaos thus far, Dillashaw’s likely to be happier without dealing with the drama in the gym, while Faber will move ahead with what they’re doing. If that leads to them fighting, it leads to them fighting, but the tensions seems to have been there since long before the split.
[Urijah Faber art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]