Ever since the fallout happened between TJ Dillashaw and Team Alpha Male, fans have wanted to see TJ face Urijah Faber. After the former champ’s return at UFC Vegas 32, the Team Alpha Male head coach revealed that he was offered this fight fairly recently.
To say that there was animosity between Faber and Dillashaw is a bit of a understatement. Urijah essentially recruited TJ for Team Alpha Male straight out of college and helped build him to be a champ, before TJ decided to leave the gym with Duane Ludwig, who had his own problems with the team.
Since then, there has been a constant desire to see the student face the master, and speaking in a recent interview, Urijah said this almost happened. He revealed that he was offered the fight with TJ, but that TJ’s team decline the offer for various reasons.
“There was talks, Sean Shelby was asking when I was going to fight TJ, and he said ‘Sounds like his camp isn’t interested in that fight.’ So I said okay, and talked to Tiki, who manages TJ and he kind of told me behind the scenes, that they had offered him something but then said they couldn’t do that, blah blah blah,” Faber said.
“It’s one of those things were I wouldn’t rule it out, but I would have to get going, and I would need to take it real serious… I always kind of avoided the idea of fighting him because I just didn’t like the dramatic part of it. We already have enough friggen drama in our lives, and then you have to rehash this, and drama that, and that becomes a whole dramatic thing.
“Now, would it be an intriguing matchup and would it be a great storyline? Absolutely,” Faber added. “I would only do that if it was a payday that also excited me.”
TJ Dillashaw Does Not Want That Fight
Urijah Faber went on to explain that he makes pretty good money and if he wanted to return to the Octagon, he could do it against someone else in the top 15. So in order to fight TJ, he would expect the UFC to offer him a pay bump, given the anticipation for that fight.
That said, he does not feel like TJ wants that fight. He said that the former champ has been trying to repair his image since failing a USADA test for EPO, and the build up to a fight with Urijah would reopen those old wounds in a way that he does not want.
“The only reason why I would do a fight with TJ in particular, would be because they would probably pay me more for that one. If they don’t then I wouldn’t do it, and he’s probably the same way,” Faber said.
“He doesn’t want to fight me. He’s been working hard to try to keep his nose clean and tell his side of the story, or whatever the deal is, his cheating scenarios. He doesn’t need the grave digger bringing up the f—king bones of the last ten years of him being a creep and a POS. So I don’t think its enticing to him on that front, and to me, I would do it because there’d be a bounty on his head and probably vice versa.
“Had he not gotten the nod this last weekend, it maybe would’ve made more sense, or if he gets knocked down by Petr Yan or something like that. It doesn’t make sense because he’s coming off of this win,” Faber said.
Urijah Faber Reacts To TJ Dillashaw’s Win
Urijah Faber was in the arena coaching a few fighters before TJ Dillashaw faced off against Cory Sandhagen in the UFC Vegas 32 main event over the weekend. So he was able to pop back out for this main event, and see his former pupil back in action after a two-year suspension.
Urijah feels that TJ looked just as good as he was when he left the division, paying the former champ some compliments. While he personally felt like Sandhagen should have won the fight, he says that TJ’s unwillingness to quit got it done.
“I thought it was an awesome fight first off. I know TJ as well as anyone, and he’s in there till death does he part in the ring, which is a good way to be when you’re all in on something,” Faber said.
“I thought it was an awesome fight. From where I was standing, I mean there’s a couple of different ways, but I thought Sandhagen would have gotten the nod based on him doing damage and landing the bigger punches, and a lot more I would say…
“He looked like the same guy,” Faber added. “In the aftermath of having the guy on the team, and then leaving the team, and me always being in the dark on everything, I know a lot more stuff than most people do about the whole situation, but the one thing I can say is the reason he is cheating is because he’s a competitor. Not a fair competitor, he’s a cheap shot guy, he’s whatever it is, but the guy’s whole intent and focus is to win.
“If someone’s a cheater because they don’t believe in themselves, that’s one thing. But if someone does an actual assessment on what they need to gain, whether it be conditioning or strength or whatnot, and then cheat because of that, there’s a big difference. One’s a mental weakness, and the other is being a crafty cheat, to gain financial and fame and whatever else. He was able to do that.”
Would you be interested in seeing a fight between TJ Dillashaw and Urijah Faber? How would that matchup play out at this point in both men’s careers?