Tensions reached an all time high this week on the Ultimate Fighter as TJ Dillashaw and his former team almost came to blows.
The showdown last Wednesday on Season 25 of TUF concerned the acrimonious circumstances surrounding TJ Dillashaw’s departure from Team Alpha Male in late 2015. His opposing coach (and next opponent until an injury occurred after the show’s taping), UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt, is a member of said team, and each side have been at each other’s throats throughout the show thus far.
The source of ire on Team Dillashaw is his coach Duane ‘Bang’ Ludwig, whose arrival on the scene in 2015 saw the then-135lb. champion leave the California-based TAM to join Ludwig at Elevation Fight Team in Colorado.
A visibly irate Urijah Faber, founder of Team Alpha Male and mentor to Dillashaw, confronted the latter last month.
While Faber merely sought answers from his former protege, this week saw Cody Garbrandt and his assistant coach Justin Buchholz angling for a more physical confrontation with Dillashaw and Ludwig.
The ensuing row calmed down as ‘No Love’ left the scene before manically sprinting back into the fray at 2:40 below.
So, even by the standards of The Ultimate Fighter, this rivalry and the associated conflict over loyalty, betrayal and trust, is intense. Rewind to almost two years ago, and it was Conor McGregor who was standing across from the aforementioned Urijah Faber.
All was well at the time among the TAM contingent, though the spectre of Duane Ludwig loomed large over the TUF gym thanks to a pointed comment made by McGregor. The Irishman repeatedly warned Faber that TJ was a “snake in the grass”, with the constant warnings-cum-insults resulting in Garbrandt shoving McGregor and again igniting a near-brawl.