TJ Dillashaw was amused at the prospect of facing Urijah Faber in his UFC return fight when the offer was halfheartedly made by the promotion.
At UFC Vegas 32 last month, TJ Dillashaw defeated Cory Sandhagen to become the new #1 contender for the bantamweight title in his first fight back after a two-year USADA suspension. During the lead-up to this fight, however, there were rumblings that originated straight from Urijah Faber that Dillashaw was offered a bout against “The California Kid” instead.
In an interview with Submission Radio released Wednesday, Dillashaw confirmed that Faber’s name was mentioned to him, and his response was to laugh in the metaphorical face of the UFC upon hearing the offer.
“They kinda somewhat mentioned it when I first (started making) my comeback, and I laughed at it because it made no fuckin’ sense to me because I have nothing to gain out of that fight and everything to lose,” Dillashaw began. “For one, I don’t want him to even get a fight off my name.
“And then two, it’s like, what does that do for me? I’m fighting Cory Sandhagen, the #1-ranked guy in the division other than (the champion). And only one person (in the UFC) would want it, and the rest of them were kinda mad that it was even mentioned. So to me, it was just like a joke. I think, really, they wanted him to get his ass kicked so they can kick him out of the UFC.”
It is well known that T.J. Dillashaw used to train under Urijah Faber’s tutelage over at Team Alpha Male before eventually parting ways with the gym in 2015. Since then, Dillashaw has been embroiled in a feud with the team, specifically members Cody Garbrandt and Faber himself. It’s this beef that Dillashaw and many others believe makes the fight sellable.
Marketability aside, Dillashaw did not see anything to gain from fighting Urijah Faber at this stage in their careers. Moreover, the two-time bantamweight champion did not want to give Faber the pleasure of gaining anything from it, either.
“To be honest, Urijah Faber is way past his prime. He’s got no business being in the UFC,” Dillashaw continued. “And I think the only fight for him would be some sort of big drama fight like that. Other than me, what makes sense for him? So why even give him the chance to make any kind of fame or money off my name? I’m the only fight left for him, I guess, you’d say, right? But it makes zero sense for me. I’m coming back to be the greatest bantamweight of all time. He’s only there to have the most title losses of all time.”
Despite legendary MMA referee and current Bellator commentator Big John McCarthy publicly pleading with Urijah Faber to reconsider, Faber has not yet officially retired and, as recently as this week, has expressed an openness to possibly fighting again.
Nevertheless, even if we do see Faber grace the UFC Octagon again, it doesn’t sound as though there is any reasonable hope that his return would be against former pupil T.J. Dillashaw.