At one point, Team Alpha Male seemed like one big, tight knit, happy family. They were winning, contending for titles, and with Duane Ludwig in the camp, they even brought home a belt. And then Ludwig announced that he was leaving. And like a thread you just can't resist pulling, it feels a bit like things have been unraveling ever since. Not long after Ludwig got swept out the door a very public rift has opened between the former Alpha Male striking coach and gym owner Urijah Faber. Words have been said, salt has been poured in wounds, in short things got ugly.
And when UFC champion (at the time) T.J. Dillashaw left Alpha Male to go train with Ludwig he became the new target in the war of words. Whether it's Faber's upcoming fight with Dominick Cruz, or news that Joseph Benavidez has also moved on to look for a new camp, Dillashaw's busted relationship with Alpha Male seems to hang over the conversation.
And it hasn't been made better with recent insinuations from Faber that Dillashaw may have been doping during his time training at Alpha Male. That latest salvo has raised a few eyebrows and Dillashaw recently appeared on SiriusXM Fight Club to talk about it (transcript via MMA Fighting):
"I think it's ridiculous. Go and look at all my fight pictures. Look at my last fights, look at my fight weigh-ins. It's all the same. It's just something to discredit my name and talk sh*t about. It really pissed me off. You know I haven't even said anything in the media about it, I've just kinda stayed quiet about it. It just really, really kind of pissed me off. It's a little ridiculous."
Dillashaw went so far as to say that the whole nature of the split with his former team really surprised him, and that he never expected the backlash he's received for making the move:
"This has completely caught me off guard. Like I said, I never thought he would be acting this way. It's very childish actually. Especially for how many people change camps and train other places and do all these things. And it's not like I'm even doing that. I'm sticking with the coach that he brought in that I hit it off with. It's just so crazy to me and so childish that he's acting this way and it's almost just to get attention in the media. That's the only thing I can put my finger onto because I've never known him to be this kind of guy."
Most particularly, Dillashaw pinpointed what he felt was a consistent theme in his relationship with Faber and Faber's relationship with the fighters at Team Alpha Male, "Urijah's about Urijah. He's about number one. He's always been that way. No matter what it is he needs to be doing something better than you, he needs to be one-upping you."
T.J. Dillashaw is currently set to face Rafael Assuncao at UFC 200 on July 9th in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dillashaw and Assuncao first fought back in 2013, when Assuncao took a closely contested split decision. Since that fight, Assuncao has only fought twice, his most recent being a decision win over Bryan Caraway in 2014. This will be Assuncao's first fight after a long layoff due to an ankle injury.