T.J. Dillashaw lost his UFC Bantamweight Championship in a split decision against Dominick Cruz in January, but despite having a very strong case for getting the decision in that fight, the UFC opted against the immediate rematch in favor of a rubber match between Cruz and Urijah Faber.
Suffice it to say, that decision hasn’t sat well with Dillashaw.
“I flew to Las Vegas and met with [UFC CEO] Lorenzo Fertitta to plead my case,” Dillashaw said in an interview with ESPN.com. “They entertained the idea of an immediate rematch. They said they’d let me know in two weeks – then I found out on social media Faber got the fight.
“I’m pretty pissed. Faber isn’t deserving. The only way this guy has stayed relevant during the last year is talking s*** about me. It’s unfortunate everything has become more about entertainment than sport. I just had a very competitive fight with Cruz. I don’t think Faber has a chance. I hope he does win, but it’s all about giving him his last title shot now. I think the UFC feels they can’t give him another fight before then and expect him to win.”
Dillashaw feels disrespected by the move given his willingness to give Renan Barao a quick rematch after capturing the title in 2014, but says he’s going to be ready to step in at UFC 199 if needed.
“I’m going to be ready and in shape if one of those guys gets hurt,” Dillashaw said. “One of them is old and one of them is constantly hurt so, you know, I’ve got a good chance.
“The UFC is the greatest fight promotion in the world but I’m very disappointed in their decision on this. I had hoped they’d care more about what I’d done in the past for this company but I guess not.”
Penick’s Analysis: Dillashaw says he’ll settle for a fight with Raphael Assuncao if necessary, but he absolutely deserved that fight with Cruz. He arguably should still have the title around his waist, and hopefully he’ll be getting a quick shot at the belt again after they get past the Cruz-Faber fight. Still, should either Cruz or Faber be forced out of the fight on June 4 at UFC 199, Dillashaw should be tapped to fight the other in that spot.
[Photo (c) Bob DeChiara via USA Today Sports]
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