One of Conor McGregor's most famous "Mystic Mac" predictions was an ugly divorce between Urijah Faber and "snake in the grass" TJ Dillashaw in 2015. While his prediction wasn't completely correct, the last year and a half has proved him to be pretty darn close as Dillashaw and his former gym, Team Alpha Male, have been at odds in a big way.
Those tensions are surfacing today in the build to Dillashaw's bantamweight title fight and The Ultimate Fighter coaching gig opposite former teammate Cody Garbrandt, and, according to Dillashaw, the blame for this lies squarely with his old mentor.
"Cody should have no involvement in this at all," Dillashaw said Wednesday at a Q&A on Wednesday (h/t MMAFighting.com for the transcription).
He was coming in, I was on my way out, for the most part. We were never friends. ... I think it’s more Urijah pumping these guys up and continuing to push this trash and build this team, which is money in his pocket. Every guy that fights from there pays him. I think it’s him being the mastermind behind this whole thing.
For a time, Dillashaw was the toast of the Team Alpha Male camp. Long regarded as a gym full of "bridesmaid" fighters that consistently fell short of the title, Dillashaw shocked the world in 2014 by dominating then-champion Renan Barao and bringing UFC gold to Sacramento.
A soured relationship between Faber, the patriarch of Team Alpha Male, and striking coach Duane Ludwig broke the gym in half. When Ludwig left to form his own gym in Colorado, Dillashaw also uprooted and left for the Centennial State.
That split and a perceived "victim" mentality irk Garbrandt.
"He's trying to play the victim on the show," Garbrandt said at a separate Q&A on Wednesday (h/t MMAFighting.com). "He's trying to be the nice guy. I already know who TJ is." He continued on, "He's going in there and saying Danny Castillo and Justin Buchholz are his best friends but where are they? They're on my team. They're with me. We won the world championship together."
While The Ultimate Fighter house has hosted a number of legendary rivalries over the years, including Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate and Rashad Evans and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, TUF25 is shaping up to be one of the most intense in recent years. The show begins airing April 19.