Chad Mendes: TJ Dillashaw Is A ‘Grown A** Man’

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Jason Silva - USA TODAY Sports

Extending the seemingly never-ending drama between Team Alpha Male and UFC 135-pound champion T Dillashaw head Alpha Male Urijah Faber recently spoke up about some issues he had with “The Viper.”

Faber wasn’t on board with Dillashaw returning to TAM to train when he was in town, as there are multiple fighters in his weight class that he didn’t want the champ getting a leg up on. “The California Kid” also described Dillashaw’s tendencies to get a bit aggressive in training; something he didn’t want anymore if was no longer an official part of the team.

Because of those unique dynamics, Dillashaw was banned from TAM, suggesting that he’ll be forced to cut ties with his former teammates as he heads for a likely bout with Faber. It would seem like the disdain for Dillashaw is strong within TAM, but flagship team member Chad Mendes spoke up to Fighters Only Magazine to say that isn’t necessarily the case.

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“Money” first clarified that Dillashaw’s move shocked him even though he had been splitting his time training with them and in Colorado with former TAM head coach Duane Ludwig:

“Honestly, I didn’t think he would ever leave,” he adds. “He has been going back and forth and training in Colorado with Duane (Ludwig) a lot, so… Obviously it’s something we all thought might happen. But that doesn’t mean we weren’t in shock when it actually did. But it’s done now and there’s nothing we can do about it.”

With that established, Mendes said he doesn’t hold a lot of bad blood towards Dillashaw, noting that they’ll still be buddies regardless of how this mess played out:

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“We’re all still going to be buddies with TJ. He made the decision to leave and he believes that’s what he needs to be able to stay on top. And he’s a grown ass man so he can make his own choices. He’s going to be missed though. But we’ve all got to just remain focused and keep working towards our own goal: to become champions.”

So while the drama has been quite possibly the most covered and discussed topic in all of MMA in recent weeks, Mendes doesn’t seem all that concerned with it. He’s staying focused on his upcoming TUF 22 Finale bout against former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar this December, and he knows that he’ll be in for a war against an opponent he has a ton of respect for:

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“I’m preparing for a war and I know that’s what Frankie will be doing too. He’s a warrior and I’m a big fan and I think we’re both as excited about this fight as the fans are. It’s going to be a war.”