Former UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw is preparing to fight John Lineker this Friday Night at UFC 207, he currently trains with the Elevation Fight Team out of Colorado.
While Dillashaw enjoys being a part of Elevation Fight Team, he wants no parts of 'Team UFC.'
“I would lie if I said it wasn’t,” Dillashaw said on The MMA Hour. “Look man, I even reached out to Dana (White) and I told him, look, I’ll do whatever I need to do. … I was like, ‘look, I know that WME and CAA are enemies. If it’s going to help you for me to leave them (CAA), look, I’ll be Team T.J. Dillashaw, I’ll be Team UFC, whatever you want me to do.’ He just wouldn’t call me back. He wouldn’t get ahold of me. He wouldn’t tell me if I was getting the title shot. He wouldn’t say anything. And then eventually I find out from social media that Garbrandt was getting it. … From the way I heard about it, Cruz and Garbrandt had already even signed to fight each other, so I kind of felt a little disrespected and lied to my face about it. It would’ve gone over easier if he would’ve just told me from the beginning that I wasn’t getting the fight, instead of making me look like a jerk by trying to create a bunch of drama to get this fight. I was willing to do whatever it took to get it, and just to kinda be pushed aside like that and to find out on social media, I feel like it was really disrespectful. I’d like a phone call. I mean, I’m a previous UFC champion of yours. I’ve taken fights on one-day notice. I fought Joe Soto on less than 24 hours’ notice (at UFC 177) for you guys to save the show. They called me begging me to take that fight. Where I could be a Jon Jones, I could be whoever and turn the fight down like many champions have, I step up on a day’s notice for you guys and don’t receive one dollar of bonus for that fight. They told me, ‘look, we have to cancel this show if you don’t take the fight. This could put the UFC under. We’ve had a lot of cancellations. Jon Jones canceled a fight on us. We need you to take it.’ They gave me the whole hype-up spiel of ‘take this fight,’ and look man, I love the UFC. They’re the best organization in the world. They have the best fighters in the world. So I wanted to stand up and be a team player. I wanted to be Team UFC. But the more Team UFC you are, the worse you get treated, it seems like. Everyone that’s going to act like a professional and do their job gets pushed aside and gets taken advantage of.”
One of the main reasons that the UFC may be at odds with Dillashaw at the moment is due to the fact that Dillashaw is a part of the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association, which according to Dillashaw, has caught the interest of UFC fighters.
“I’ve gotten a great reception from a lot of other fighters now when I went to the TUF Finale (in Las Vegas), when I was there for the whole week. Seeing guys warming up, they were super curious about it. They would ask me about it. They want more information about it and they’re onboard the more I talk to them. And some big-name fighters too. Guys who have obviously wanted this as well but were in everyone else’s situation, just too scared to step up and do it,” said Dillashaw.
UFC 207 takes place on Friday, December 30 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey headlining.