T.J. Dillashaw left Urijah Faber and the rest of the Team Alpha Male crew to train with Elevation Fight Team and Duane Ludwig in Colorado. The UFC champ says it's a good business decision based on being paid good money to train, but Chael Sonnen says that won't be the case, especially a few months down the road.
According to the former UFC title contender, Dillashaw is a 'chump' as he left and created a rift from his former team for money that won't be coming.
"T.J. left under the guise that he was going to be paid to train. Do you guys understand how silly that is?" Sonnen said on his podcast, as transcribed by David St. Martin. "Gyms don't succeed. Us in the business can tell you. Gym doors get locked up every week. The mats get sold, the ring gets torn down, the lease isn't paid. The gym business is a tough one. I love the sport but I understand that's a tough business.
"Now a gym without a long history is offering to pay T.J. Dillashaw? T.J., those checks aren't coming, brother. That was a really, really sucker move by you. You must not have an advisor."
"If you want to move to Colorado, go move," said Sonnen. "Train with other people. No problems there. His beef with Urijah Faber comes from, 'Hey, we miss you.' That's what that is. 'Hey, we don't want to lose you, we miss you, our feelings are hurt.' But that's a chump move thinking those checks are going to cash."
"Now he's got Dominick Cruz, a fight he's likely to lose. He hasn't been 'Mr. Drawing Star,' anyway. Not a lot of stars down there. If he loses that fight to Cruz ... those checks aren't going to be coming," he said.
"You heard it here first. T.J., you're not getting paid to train. I don't care what promises you've been made or who signed the contract. You're not getting paid a monthly salary to train. If you get that for five months I would be stunned. I'll tell you now, you're not getting it for a year. That's not even in the cards."
Dillashaw's 'business move' sparked another one from Faber, as he's now barred from training and sparring (hurting) the Team Alpha Male fighters while representing another team. If Sonnen is proved right down the road, it could leave Dillashaw in a bit of a predicament after severing ties with his old gym.
That said, this whole soap opera between TJ, Faber, and even Conor's 'snake in the grass' comments, has indirectly built up Dillashaw's brand. While he used to be a champion that not many MMA fans watched or cared about, TJ has been drawing headlines for weeks, and now has two intriguing and marketable bouts potentially lined up.
It's hard to predict how it all turns out in the long run, but so far, this whole situation seems like a positive for TJ's brand and his bank account.