T.J. Dillashaw isn’t surprised to see Urijah Faber back, but believes his former teammate is making the wrong move by exiting retirement.
Faber, who retired from MMA in 2016, recently announced that he is returning to MMA competition. “The California Kid,” a former WEC champ and current UFC Hall of Famer, retired in 2016 after a win over Brad Pickett. Faber is set to meet prospect Ricky Simon at UFC Sacramento on July 13.
Ex-UFC bantamweight champion Dillashaw, who used to train with Faber at Team Alpha Male, said that Faber should have stayed put.
“I could always tell when he retired that it wasn’t going to be the last fight,” Dillashaw said on Chael Sonnen’s podcast You’re Welcome. “On a technical level, (he) probably maybe should have stayed retired, especially with the young and hungry guys coming up. I’m hoping he’s not hurting for money, even though we’ve had our beefs and whatever — you never want to wish that bad on someone. Personally, I think he probably should have stayed retired, but we’ll see. We’ll see how he comes out.”
Dillashaw and Faber trained together in Sacramento for years before a nasty split in 2015 that saw Dillashaw move to Colorado to train full time with former Team Alpha Male head coach Duane Ludwig, who opened his own gym there. Dillashaw said Faber gave him a choice of either staying with Team Alpha Male or leaving to train with Ludwig. After choosing the latter, Dillashaw said, Faber kicked him out of the gym.
Dillashaw, who failed a USADA drug test for EPO earlier this year, has since moved his training camps to a gym in California called The Treigning Lab, where he works with UFC featherweight Cub Swanson, Bellator contender Juan Archuleta, among others.
When asked if the bad blood between him and Faber is real, Dillashaw assured Sonnen that it is. Dillashaw added that he would be more than willing to fight Faber once his suspension is up in January 2021.
“Of course,” Dillashaw said. “It is (bad enough blood to fight him). It’s real. He’s the one that created the whole (beef by) forcing me out of the gym.
“We were close friends at one time. For a quick change of me following a head coach, he made me out to look like that much of a bad guy.”