UFC champ T.J. Dillashaw minimizes Instagram controversy about Renan Barao: 'it was just a stupid joke'

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC bantamweight champion says that he and his teammates have always respected Nova Uniao fighters and the joke with Barao was made by a guy from their gym.

In an interview with Tatame, T.J. Dillashaw tried to cool down a situation that has irritated Featherweight champ Jose Aldo. The Instagram account of Team Alpha Male published an image of Renan Barao's name being registered in a Muay Thai seminar by T.A.M. coach Duane "Bang" Ludwig, after UFC 173, on May 24, when the Nova Uniao fighter lost his UFC bantamweight title to Dillashaw.

There are a lot of crap being said about this episode. Actually, Urijah (Faber) has never posted anything. A guy from our gym did the joke (later erased). Duane was going to give a Muay Thai seminar and the guy did the joke. It was because Duane said during my fight with Barao that I was giving him a free Muay Thai seminar in the fourth round. It got blown out of proportion.

The UFC 135-pound title holder expressed what he feels about Nova Uniao.

We have a lot of respect for Nova Uniao because they have a lot of great fighters and professionals. Their head coach (Dede Pederneiras) has always respected us. We Team Alpha Male fighters would have never done that. It was just a stupid and silly joke, I wish it had not happened.

When aware of the image, Aldo blasted Team Alpha Male remembering the score in direct confrontation between them and Nova Uniao and said that Chad Mendes will pay the price. They will fight for the second time at UFC 176, on August 2.

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