Now Urijah Faber is back to doing what he does best, there are plenty of potential opponents for him to pick from…and who better to choose than his former teammate turned foe, TJ Dillashaw. The UFC vet believes 2021 could be the time to defeat Dillashaw and “even things out.”
“The California Kid” returned from retirement with a swift and successful defeat against Ricky Simon in July. Faber believes his extensive track record is enough to earn him a title shot against Henry Cejudo, but a battle against his former training partner could also be in the cards.
Urijah Faber scouted TJ Dillashaw out of college to join Team Alpha Male and touted the prodigy as the future of the sport. He was instrumental in the former Ultimate Fighter contestant’s early success.
Cracks in the relationship between the two began to show when Dillashaw left Team Alpha Male to train under the tutelage of Duane Ludwig and join Team Elevation in Colorado. After his new training team disbanded, Dillashaw was focused on creating his own training team and regiment, but the damage to his friendship with Faber was already done.
Their feud was set in stone after months of insults and online arguments. The situation only got worse when Dillashaw was suspended for two-years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency after he tested positive for EPO following his loss to Henry Cejudo in early 2019. He relinquished his bantamweight title and is currently serving his suspension. Speaking to at a recent Q&A, Faber blasted Dillashaw for this ordeal.
“I mean the only reason it interests me is because I think there’s probably some money involved in that fight,” Faber said of the matchup (via MMA fighting). “For a long time I didn’t want to deal with the drama of the whole thing and it didn’t sound enticing to me.
“I was close with his family and whatnot, especially at the beginning of this. I don’t really feel like I know the guy, or I do know him, a fight with him would be a good one.”
Due to his suspension, the 33-year old Dillashaw will not be able to fight until 2021. Faber thinks his return will give them the opportunity to fight fair and square. He also believes Dillashaw is a bigger fight than Henry Cejudo.
“As far as waiting around, I’m not really the waiting around type for anything but we’ll see what happens,” Faber told ESPN. “He’ll be off the PEDs when he comes back and I’ll be 42 so that should even things out.”
Since taking time away from the sport due to his suspension, TJ Dillashaw has opened up a juice bar. Are you interested in seeing him fight Urijah Faber when he’s cleared to return?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/30/2019.