Team Alpha Male(TAM) founder Urijah Faber and reigning UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt claim that a cheap shot from T.J. Dillashaw in sparring was responsible for a concussion that has severely hampered the career of TAM bantamweight Chris Holdsworth.
Holdsworth won the 18th season of The Ultimate Fighter(TUF) back in late 2013, submitting the U.K’s Davey Grant in the final. He subsequently picked up a unanimous decision victory over Chico Camus at UFC 173 in May of 2014 to move to 6-0 as a professional, but he hasn’t fought since due to concussion-related issues.
During an episode of the Inside BJJ podcast earlier this year, Holdsworth revealed that these issues stemmed from a sparring incident that occurred prior to the TUF Finale.
“I sprawled out on somebody and he did a hard sit-out in wrestling. I slammed my head on the mat on a Tuesday, which was wrestling,” said the fighter. “I was kind of rocked, [but] didn’t think anything of it. The next day was sparring – sparring with some of the best guys in the room. I took an illegal knee to the top of the head when I was on all fours – that’s the one that fucked me up. And I should have sat out right after that, but I finished sparring and went two more rounds and took more shots, and that’s what you don’t want to do in those type of situations. But I had no idea, I was just trying to get him back, you know?”
Asked if he felt the illegal knee was delivered with malicious intent, Holdsworth responded, “Who knows, man?”
“Who knows? I don’t know. That shit hurt, man.”
Holdsworth did not identify the party responsible for delivering the knee.
On a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, however, Faber and Garbrandt claimed that it was Dillashaw who struck the blow.
“T.J. was never the best teammate,” said Faber. “He would try to hurt people. He’s a very competitive guy and he has a temper.”
“Try to hurt people how?” asked Rogan.
“Cheap-shotting at the bell. In boxing, he’d knee you,” answered Garbrandt.
“There is no secret about T.J.’s…we talked about it when he was still on the team also, that he had to be reeled in a little bit. He’s just got a temper,” added Faber.
“That’s why Chris is out, [Dillashaw] kneed him in the back of the head,” interjected Garbrandt.
“I guess Chris choked him out and T.J. got up and fucking kneed him in the back of the head when he was down on the mat.”
Though Rogan prodded the pair for further details, Faber seemed reluctant to provide them out of respect for Holdsworth’s wishes.
You can watch the relevant section of the interview below from the 1:31:45 mark…
(Continue reading below.)
Dillashaw, of course, subsequently departed TAM under acrimonious circumstances that had nothing to do with this incident, but have been well-documented, and there has since been enormous animosity between he and member of the Sacramento-based fight team – Garbrandt in particular.
Dillashaw and Garbrandt were originally scheduled to fight at UFC 213 back in July, not long after they served as opposing coaches on TUF 25. However, Garbrandt had to withdraw through injury. The fight has since been rescheduled and is set to take place on UFC 217 in New York on November 4th.