On Tuesday, word came out that T.J. Dillashaw has switched camps, officially leaving Team Alpha Male to join Elevation Fight Team in Colorado, where he will also be spending a lot of time with Duane Ludwig. The UFC bantamweight champion went on Team Alpha Male Radio to discuss the move with his now former teammates.
"Last time I paid a lot of money... I had to put up a lot of money to do a fight camp", Dillashaw said about hosting half the camp in Team Alpha Male, and half in various gyms in Colorado. "Now, Elevation Fight Team came to me and they want to pay me some good money to train with them. They're offering to pay me to train, instead of me paying to train."
"This sport is growing so much that that's the way I feel like it should be. We're professional athletes. I feel like I got treated better in college wrestling. I had a physical therapist on hand at all times, no matter what, when I was in college. And that's not where MMA is at yet. Now these teams are catching up and putting money into it."
Dillashaw states that the Elevation Fight Team used to be a group of fighters jumping around various gyms in Colorado to train various disciplines. Coinciding with his addition, everything will now be centralized in one top notch facility where he will also be compensated very well to train.
Dillashaw leaves TAM, will still work with Ludwig
It looks like T.J. Dillashaw isn't going to stick around and be the man in the middle between Duane Ludwig and Urijah Faber. The longtime Team Alpha Male fighter is changing camps.
"Really, if anybody else was in my situation, they would take the exact same deal," Dillashaw said. "This is a very short-lived career. I have to do what's best for myself. I have to do what's best for my career and being on top for as long as possible. I can't fight forever. I've got to fight and secure my future and decide what I'm gonna do with my life. This is a great opportunity."
The 29-year-old also discussed his relationship with his former team, saying that he hopes to eventually still have a long standing relationship with everyone, including the very few guys who didn't like his decision.
"For the last 6 years I've been with Team Alpha Male. I wouldn't trade that in for the world," he said. "It's got me to where I'm at. It's helped me out. It's taught me to be the person I am. I've learned so much here. The experience I've had here has been unreal. But when something like this comes at you, you can't turn it down. I believe anybody in my situation would do the same thing. And I believe it's some of the best training in the world that I'm gonna get."
"Most of everyone understands my situation and are very supportive. Pretty much everyone on the team, except for you know... except for a couple. It's just something I will have to figure out. With time hopefully it all dies down. I will always be Team Alpha Male family, in my mind, as long as everyone else feels that way."
"It's a super tough subject for me to even talk about, I mean I want to cry right now."
TJ also went on to discuss Ludwig and his rift with Urijah Faber and Team Alpha Male.
"I believe in Duane Ludwig as a coach. I love the guy. I train with him. Me and him mesh. When you find something that works, you keep it going. Me and him see eye to eye. We train well together, and I was going to do that anyway. I was going to do that no matter what. Now I'm getting paid to do it."
"I wish the whole thing with Duane would have worked out. I wish Duane wasn't so hard to somewhat get along with. I get along with him well. He's a great guy. He means very, very well. Sometimes people hit heads and things don't really work out. I really wish it would have worked out. I'm the one put in a hard place in all of this."
"It doesn't help that the Conor McGregor thing is going on in The Ultimate Fighter. It's actually perfect timing. Maybe he is able to read the future," Dillashaw laughed. "It's just crazy that some people are thinking I'm (betraying) Team Alpha Male. It's crazy. I'm just taking an opportunity that's given to me and I'm just trying to run with it."
After word about his departure came out, McGregor took to social media to gloat about predicting this ordeal and that a grudge match against Faber would eventually happen.