Do we have a Team Alpha Male rivalry brewing?
Sorry to get you all excited, but no, not really. Not yet, anyway.
T.J. Dillashaw just defeated Renan Barao at UFC 173 to snag the bantamweight title, and already talks are heating up about a Team Alpha Male battle for gold between the newly minted champ and the former challenger Urijah Faber.
Faber, of course, is the head of Team Alpha Male. He's their standout superstar, their golden boy. He founded the gym, and he keeps an eye out for new talent to bring in.
Now, one of those fighters in Dillashaw has done what Faber himself failed to do on multiple occasions: he won UFC gold.
Teammates or not, that has to sting Faber a little as a competitor, and now former Team Alpha Male head coach Duane Ludwig is prickling the wound by saying he'd corner Dillashaw in a potential showdown.
Appearing on MMAjunkie.com Radio, Ludwig talked about a hypothetical bout between the camp's top two bantamweight combatants (transcription courtesy of MMA Junkie's Steven Marrocco).
“T.J.’s my boy. I would (coach T.J. against Urijah)," Ludwig said. "This is one of the things about T.J. and Faber. They fight once or twice a week in the gym. Why not get paid for it?”
Throughout the rest of the interview, Ludwig went on to praise Faber for bringing so much talent to the camp and for giving him the opportunity to coach a stable of phenomenal mixed martial artists.
In addition, Ludwig said he shared a "special bond" with Dillashaw, making it seem that he would show Dillashaw some preferential treatment under any circumstance.
As a coach, that's probably not right, and it will undoubtedly rustle some jimmies.
Right now, there is zero indication that Faber and Dillashaw will ever fight, but the current champion has previously stated he would take on his teammate if the UFC made it worth his while.
After winning the belt, Dillashaw changed his tune and said he is not interested in a fight with Faber, but one has to wonder if the UFC can pull some strings and make this happen.
If it ever comes to fruition, one thing is certain: Ludwig will shack up with Dillashaw, and Faber will receive the unique opportunity to face a friend, teammate and former coach all at once.
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