TJ Dillashaw: I Don’t Want To Fight Urijah Faber, Renan Barao Doesn’t Deserve Instant Rematch

Newly crowned UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw shocked the world with his five round destruction of former champion Renan Barao in last Saturday’s (May 24, 2014) UFC 173 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The fallout of such a huge upset where Dillashaw came in as high as a 10-to-1 underdog, is obviously massive; topics such as an immediate rematch with Barao and fighting his teammate and good friend Urijah Faber has already arisen.

With news swirling at a breakneck pace, Dillashaw appeared on today’s edition of The MMA Hour to discuss where he goes from here.

Talk not surprisingly focused on Dillashaw and his head coach Duane “Bang” Ludwig, who will now depart Team Alpha Male to start his own gym in Colorado. While “Bang” recently said he would be in Dillashaw’s corner should he ever square off against team leader Urijah Faber, the new champion quickly shot down any notion he would be leaving the team:

“No, Alpha Male’s got the best training team in the world. Not only do I have the best sparring partners, but they really care about me; we care about each other. When you have that connection, it’s so easy to help each other out and be there for each other.

I have a whole team of coaches. Even though Duane’s the best coach I’ve ever worked with, you can’t ever get a team like that. There’s no way you could ever get a team like that and the bond that we have. So I have to stay with the guys, they got me to where I’m at as well.”

So Dillashaw will stay with his team for now, but UFC President Dana White loves the bout between him and Faber. However, there’s not much that warrants booking it.

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Faber has lost six straight title bouts, including two to Barao. Given Dillashaw’s destruction of the decorated champion, No. 1-ranked Faber has a lot of work to do to earn a shot at Dillashaw even if they would agree to it.

Both Dillashaw and Faber recently told me they don’t want to fight each other, but would if there was “ton of cash on the line.” Dillashaw expanded on that:

“I don’t want to. I don’t want to fight Urijah. He’s the one who got me into the sport. Like I say, he’s one of my best friends. He’s an amazing person. But, not saying it’s not going to happen.

I’m not saying the bossman won’t come to us with a ridiculous amount of money saying, ‘Let’s do this;’ and that’s something we probably wouldn’t be able to turn down. Ultimately, that’s a great situation to be in because that means we’re both doing awesome, but I don’t want to have to fight Urijah.”

Dillashaw said he’d have to go Ludwig’s gym in Colorado if it were to happen:

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“This is his place, so I’d have to pick up and go to Duane, I guess; I don’t really know. I’m hoping it doesn’t (come to that). I really don’t want to have to fight the guy, but we are in the business; that is the business of what we’re doing. And we have a great camp and we’re taking over the world, man.”

Dillashaw has some top-level title contenders Raphael Assuncao, Barao, or Dominick Cruz  that should probably all receive a title fight before Faber. Dillashaw said he’d like to get the win back from Assuncao:

“He’s on the longest win streak, he should be the next in line probably, and I’d like to get that fight back.”

However, he has a problem with giving Barao an immediate rematch:

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“The one problem I have is that I dominated him. It wasn’t like I knocked him out in the first round with that right hand and it was a fluke. I went out there and proved what I know how to do against him is going to work, and I’m just to fast for him. He’s too slow.”

All of the sudden, the UFC bantamweight division is rife with new and exciting possibilities, especially for Team Alpha Male. But that celebration could dissipate quickly if the UFC decides to book Dillashaw vs. Faber.

Will the new champ be involved in a blockbuster teacher vs. student bout somewhere down the road?

Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie for USA TODAY Sports