Next Wednesday (September 9, 2015) the all-new 22nd season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) will debut on FOX Sports 1 with a potentially exciting United States vs. Europe format.
But the real attraction is obviously the beef between opposing coaches Conor McGregor and Urijah Faber. Conflict arose between the two prominent MMA stars at the weigh-ins for July’s UFC 189, and McGregor’s rivalry with Faber’s Team Alpha Male is already established after he beat Chad Mendes for the interim featherweight title in the summer blockbuster’s main event.
However, it’s another Team Alpha Male member that McGregor focused on during an appearance with Faber on last night’s UFC Tonight. Apparently the ‘Notorious’ believes that bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw, whom Faber brought in to assist him on TUF 22, is a dishonest person merely waiting to pounce on Faber when the time is right. He even went as far as to dub him a ‘snake in the grass’:
“You shouldn’t be letting him in your s**t. He’s a snake in the grass. I told you that to your face. You brought him on to TUF thinking he was there to help you. He was there to help him. He’s a snake in the f***ing grass in your s**t. You need to figure that out and stop being a p***y.”
Although McGregor’s words might be considered harsh, Dillashaw’s discord with Faber’s team, where he got his start and rose to prominence in MMA, is well documented nonetheless. ‘The Viper’ is one of a few TAM members who have chosen to continue training with former head coach Duane ‘Bang’ Ludwig at his new gym in his native Colorado, and while nothing has spilled into the media, the dynamic could undoubtedly cause some friction in the near future.
Ludwig drew a large amount of heat for saying that there ‘weren’t any champions besides Dillashaw’ at the team, which incited a small riot amongst his former pupils. That lead Faber to call him a ‘bully,’ and it’s clear that their relationship is beyond fixing.
Yet Faber still considers Dillashaw his close friend, something that McGregor vehemently warned him against last night:
“You shouldn’t have brought him in. That was your moment to build [a fight?] up and you let him come in. He took over your s**t. You brought him up from high school; you brought him up through the game. He’s not your boy. Come on. There are no boys in this. He’s not your boy. I don’t mind him, but I sense disloyalty. I sense a snake and I’m going to say that when I see it.”
Like it or not, McGregor may have a good point in his suggestion that there are no ‘boys’ in the fight game, because a bantamweight title scrap between Faber and Dillashaw has been teased ever since ‘The Viper’ won the belt from former champion Renan Barao in a shocking upset at UFC 173.
If Dillashaw continues to cede from the place where he got his start in fighting, then that bout could certainly be happen sooner than later, and in a division as shallow as 135 pounds, it’s the second biggest bout the UFC could book. And if it were to go down, it’d be difficult to argue with McGregor’s warnings here.
Will the Irish megastar’s words come true in the form of a Dillashaw vs. Faber title tilt, or is the ‘Notorious’ just being paranoid for his TUF opposition?