Few people know former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw better than the man who recruited him from college wrestling and brought him into the sport of mixed martial arts.
Urijah Faber was a teammate and coach to Dillashaw from the day he decided to fight and the two remained close for several years while working together out of Team Alpha Male in Sacramaento. Dillashaw eventually left the gym in a nasty split that left him at odds with Faber and many of his former teammates.
Lately, Dillashaw has been dealing with an entirely different kind of turmoil after he was suspended for two years by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) after he tested positive for EPO following his last fight against flyweight champion Henry Cejudo.
In the aftermath of his suspension being announced, Dillashaw issued an apology and said it would be hard to forgive himself for what he did, although he never got into specifics when it came to his admission of guilt or why he started using EPO in the first place.
Faber offered his take on Dillashaw and his statement when speaking to MMA Tonight on SiriusXM radio.
“When you have somebody that cheats in a sport like this, not only is a dangerous when you have a temper in practice. It’s unfair,” Faber said. “They’re also lying because they know they are deliberately doing something underhanded.
“They’re also stealing from people who don’t do it like myself, a guy like Cody Garbrandt, that’s millions of dollars, that’s massive opportunities, that’s physical health and TJ’s is like a master of turning himself into the victim.”
Faber points to Dillashaw’s exit from Team Alpha Male as another example of a time the former bantamweight champion made a choice on his own and then attempted to turn it around as if it wasn’t his fault.
“When he got bought off to go and fight for the Team Elevation or whatever it was originally, which is cool, go ahead and do that. Then when Conor [McGregor] called him out and called him a snake, which whatever Conor did that on TV and then later it came out that he was going out to Colorado. Somehow he turned that around to where he was the victim,” Faber said. “Like I kicked him off the team. Bro, I have you on tape saying whatever it is, that you decided to go cause they were going to pay you. I have it on the podcast and he became the victim there.
“And now facing the fact, the adversity of getting caught doing EPO, which is the height of PED (performance enhancing drugs) use and there’s no remorse or anything. That’s kind of hard to see to be honest. I wish he would just come out and this is what I had, I admit, I stole, I cheated, I lied and they should take that serious.”
As for Dillashaw’s return in 2021, Faber expects his former teammate to come back stronger than ever but not necessarily because he’s become a better athlete in his absence.
“He’s going to be a beast. He’ll put the scientist cap back on and figure out how he can have an advantage,” Faber said about Dillashaw.
“It’s just unfortunate. People are cheating in a sport where it’s dangerous and there’s a lot to gain and I get it. Rich and famous now, you sold out for that. Great, he’s going to sit out for another year and a half, people forget about it but at the end of the day, it’s just not right.”