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TJ Dillashaw on the UFC: ‘We’re treated worse than an employee’

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TJ Dillashaw expresses his grievances about how he feels he is being treated by the UFC.

Former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw is one of the fighters in the roster who is part of the executive board of the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association (MMAAA). He is also one of those who are clamoring for change, as far as being treated by the company goes.

Many issues have been raised by other fighters on the UFC roster in the past. The most common ones mainly circle around the Reebok deal, and fighter pay. For Dillashaw, the biggest issue is how the UFC tends to be too controlling towards their fighters.

“There’s a lot of things that would help out for us athletes that need to change,” Dillashaw said in a recent appearance on The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “We’re controlled more than any other professional sport. We’re told what to wear, when to wear it, what we’re allowed to say in our interviews. I have to wear Reebok. We have to tell the UFC or USADA where we’re at 365 days a year. But we don’t have health insurance. We’re treated worse than an employee. It’s just crazy, man.”

Dillashaw claims he met up with UFC president Dana White to renegotiate his contract after his win over Raphael Assuncao at UFC 200. He then signed into a new eight-fight deal, along with the promise from UFC president Dana White that he would be “pushed” to get the next title shot.

But when the UFC announced that Cody Garbrandt would instead be getting a crack at Dominick Cruz’s title, Dillashaw says he felt tricked into signing the new deal, which he described as a “consolation prize.”

“They gave me the whole hype-up spiel of ‘take this fight,’ and look man, I love the UFC,” Dillashaw said. “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.”

TJ Dillashaw faces John Lineker this Friday, December 30th, at UFC 207 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.