Dillashaw Conflicted Concerning Faber’s Retirement
T.J. Dillashaw’s relationship with Urijah Faber once seemed like one of the strongest friendships in the sport of MMA. A year ago, that changed completely. When Dillashaw left Team Alpha Male to train full-time with his coach Duane Ludwig, Faber and Dillashaw had a public falling out filled with venomous comments from both sides.
Now, with Faber set to retire after his upcoming hometown fight in Sacramento against Brad Pickett, Dillashaw admits he is conflicted.
“I have a lot of mixed emotions,” Dillashaw said Monday on The MMA Hour. “It’s super unfortunate the way this has all gone down, and I feel like really immature on his part, the way that he’s tried to bash me. I thought at first it was just for him to get a title shot, and I really hope one day that he’ll be able to come to me and say that that’s what he was doing.
“It’s just kind of crazy how much time I put in at that gym and how much I helped him train, and how much he helped me. He was making money off me. Obviously he gives everyone a shot, and if you start doing good, then he’s going to make money off you, so it’s in his own best interest. But I was a friend of the guy. I put in a lot of hours there at that gym. I grew as a person there, and it’s kind of crazy how immature it was, that he wanted to bash me and kick me out of the gym because I wanted to train with someone that he didn’t get along with."
After Dillashaw lost his belt to Dominick Cruz in January, Faber campaigned for a shot at Cruz that he eventually got at UFC 199 in June. Still, his harsh words for Dillashaw did not stop there.
Despite the ugly nature of the end of their friendship, Dillashaw still recognizes what Faber has done for the sport, and done for him. Even though he has no interest in rebuilding their relationship, he wishes Faber the best.
“That’s so crazy and it’s such high school drama. But what it comes down to, when it’s all done and said, we do have a past, we do have a history, and with him retiring, he’s done wonders for this sport as well. You hope he goes out on a good note.”
Dillashaw did not hold back, however, when asked if Faber was retiring at the right time. According to the former bantamweight champ, Faber has regressed as a fighter over recent years.
“I do believe it’s time for him to retire," Dillashaw said. "He’s actually, I feel like, declined in his skills rather than getting better, and you need people around you telling you, ‘alright man, it’s time. You’ve done a good job, it’s time for you to hang it up. You’ve got some fighters coming into the gym, that are some new guys, who are kind of beating up on you. It’s time to call it quits.’ So hopefully he comes out and looks good and he does it in Sacramento. He always is amped up when he fights there. He’s, by far, a town favorite. He’s a fan favorite. So hopefully he can make a good showing.”