Before UFC Hall-of-Famer Urijah Faber made his Octagon return in July, he already had opponents in mind. One of them is Kron Gracie, who had just made a successful debut against Alex Caceres five months prior.
”We will have to see at that point,” Faber told Ariel Helwani in June. “When you think of big fights for me in the weight class, Kron [Gracie] was exciting because there is a lot of hype around him right now and the history of his family. But, there is no history like the T.J. Dillashaw history that’s for sure.”
Gracie took this callout personally because of an apparent long-time deal between Faber and the Diaz brothers Nick and Nate. During Wednesday’s UFC Tampa open workout scrum, Kron bared more details about it.
“Again, this is the loyalty part I’m talking about, which is very rare today,” he told reporters. “Nick and Urijah had a deal to not fight each other’s teams for a long time. This was in the beginning of their fight (careers).
“I don’t know, maybe Urijah kinda forgot about that, and since he’s got new fighters and new things, he’s not really too concerned with what... they basically don’t fight each other. Nick Diaz’s guys, Nate Diaz’s guys don’t fight Urijah Faber’s guys. And I’m part of Nick’s team. I’ve learned a lot from them.
“Alpha Male guys have came and trained with us over in Stockton, and I kinda see it as kinda like we’re not the bestest of friends, but we’re not enemies; there’s enough enemies out here,” he added.
Gracie, who co-headlines UFC Tampa against Cub Swanson, now wants a fight with “The California Kid” sometime in the future.
“I kinda didn’t want to fight him because, one, the team was kinda like, ‘Hey, that’s Urijah. Urijah is part of our... we’re friends, we talk, everything’s cool,’” he explained. “They come and train (with us.)’
“I didn’t want to step on anybody’s toes. I didn’t want anybody from my team feel weird, I didn’t want anybody from their team to feel weird, so it’s not an interesting fight for me. But, if he keeps calling my name, if he keeps talking sh-t and he keeps wanting to fight, then I’m not gonna not fight him if he’s attacking me.
“I did my part and I said at first that I didn’t want to fight him, based on his affiliation with Nick and Nate,” he continued. “But to a certain extent, I’m still mad. I personally do not have a relationship with him.”
Headlining UFC Tampa is a strawweight title eliminator fight between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Michelle Waterson. It takes place on Saturday, October 12th, at the Amalie Arena.