Former UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw is currently preparing to fight John Lineker at UFC 207, but just a short time before that fight takes place, Dillashaw’s former mentor and Team Alpha Male leader Urijah Faber will retire after fighting Brad Pickett at UFC On Fox 22.
Dillashaw, who now trains in Colorado with longtime friend and trainer Duane Ludwig, has mixed feelings about his former friends retirement.
“I have a lot of mixed emotions,” Dillashaw said on The MMA Hour. “It’s super unfortunate the way this has all gone down, and I feel like really immature on his part, the way that he’s tried to bash me. I thought at first it was just for him to get a title shot, and I really hope one day that he’ll be able to come to me and say that that’s what he was doing. It’s just kind of crazy how much time I put in at that gym and how much I helped him train, and how much he helped me. He was making money off me. Obviously he gives everyone a shot, and if you start doing good, then he’s going to make money off you, so it’s in his own best interest. But I was a friend of the guy. I put in a lot of hours there at that gym. I grew as a person there, and it’s kind of crazy how immature it was, that he wanted to bash me and kick me out of the gym because I wanted to train with someone that he didn’t get along with. That’s so crazy and it’s such high school drama. But what it comes down to, when it’s all done and said, we do have a past, we do have a history, and with him retiring, he’s done wonders for this sport as well. You hope he goes out on a good note.”
Despite the fact that Dillashaw has mixed feelings about Faber’s upcoming retirement, he does feel that it is time for the former WEC Featherweight Champion to retire.
“Even though the guy has really pissed me off, and I’ve had, and still do, a lot of unpleasant hate for the guy, for the way he acted, all done and said I don’t wish anything bad on the guy,” Dillashaw said. “I do believe it’s time for him to retire. He’s actually, I feel like, declined in his skills rather than getting better, and you need people around you telling you, ‘alright man, it’s time. You’ve done a good job, it’s time for you to hang it up. You’ve got some fighters coming into the gym, that are some new guys, who are kind of beating up on you. It’s time to call it quits.’ So hopefully he comes out and looks good and he does it in Sacramento. He always is amped up when he fights there. He’s, by far, a town favorite. He’s a fan favorite. So hopefully he can make a good showing.”
UFC On Fox 23 takes place on Saturday, December 17 from the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California with Paige VanZant and Michelle Waterson headlining.
UFC 207 takes place on Friday, December 30 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey headlining.