Dominick Cruz Blames Team Alpha Male Feud with TJ Dillashaw on Urijah Faber

May 7, 2017

When TJ Dillashaw, the UFC bantamweight champion at the time, left Team Alpha Male to train with the fight camp’s former head coach Duane “Bang” Ludwig in 2015, it sparked off a rivalry that rivals all sports rivalries. Lines were drawn and sides were chosen.

Dillashaw lost the title in his first full training camp under Ludwig in a controversial split decision to Dominick Cruz at UFC Fight Night 81. Cruz defended the title against Team Alpha Male founder Urijah Faber at UFC 199, but lost it to Team Alpha Male’s Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207. Garbrandt and Dillashaw were named as opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 25, and the rivalry hit new levels.

Cruz, who has a long history with Faber, blames the animosity between Team Alpha Male and Dillashaw on the team’s founder. The feud between Dillashaw and Garbrandt, according to Cruz, goes back to Faber’s disdain for Ludwig.

“I think what’s happening with that whole situation – being involved with TUF Talk and seeing what’s going on, talking to Ludwig, talking to Cody, talking to certain people as I move through the sport and do this analyst gig – I think this beef is really Faber’s beef. And I think Cody will pretty much listen to Faber. If Faber told him to jump off a bridge head-first, he would do it. He’s fighting Faber’s fight for him,” Cruz said during an appearance on The MMA Hour.

“I think the whole problem stems from Faber being upset because Ludwig was teaching good stuff, and it was taking some of the shine from Faber in Faber’s own camp. They had a separation and that caused problems with TJ. In my opinion, if Faber cared about TJ as much as he said that he did then he would have let him leave and do what he needed to do to better his career as a friend and a coach,” Cruz added. 

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In Cruz’ opinion, the epicenter of the rivalry between Garbrandt and Dillashaw can be traced back to Faber’s ego.  To have the first UFC champion that Team Alpha Male produced leave to join the fight team’s former head coach’s gym was a bitter pill to swallow. 

“It hurt (Faber’s) ego that his guy would go somewhere else and train with somebody that teaches things better than Faber. It hurt him that Ludwig was getting all the shine, while he was at Faber’s camp because that’s Faber’s camp.”

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  • MoodyLedZep71

    The truth hurts

    • Shred Man

      The truth is Dominik is friends with Ludwig and he hates Uriah, so he has obviously chosen his side based on what Ludwig has told him. It’s his biased opinion, not fact. TJ and Ludwig are both snakes. Uriah whould not have even hired Ludwig if he had known he was going to leave less than a year later and try to take his fighters when he left.

      • MoodyLedZep71

        And how ufc titles has butt chin won exactly?

  • Blobbejaan Blob

    This is kind of a low blow on Cruz’ part. Not to long ago Faber and Cruz buried the hatchet when Faber retired. And now all of a sudden Cruz starts talking bad about Faber again.

  • Bully4me17

    Ag agree with Cruz on this. Faber was certainly not happy when Ludwig was getting all the praise for TAM suddenly improving during his stint there. If you remember that’s when TJ became Champ, and the whole team started looking much better and went on a huge winning streak. Then the same year TAM got Gym of The Year Award and Ludwig got mch of the credit because of everyones new striking skills. It wasn’t long after everything fell apart.

    Many coaches may be hurt when a fighter leaves. Yet deal with it if it’s best for the fighter and wish them well by keepig the door open if they ever want to come back. Many fighters train at more than one place. Tj wanted to train between the two, not as much getting a paid deal with Muscle Pharm but still wanted to keep an open relationship with TAM.

    If anyone has been watching TUF and paid attention you’d heard a few things. TJ and Faber went for a lunch when TJ gave the news about moving. Tj also said he still wanted to train when he could at TAM. Faber NEVER disagreed with this, according to him it was a stab in the back after being TJ’s mentor that TJ was leaving for money. Therefore TJ wasn’t welcome at TAM anymore. The rest of TAM with Cody leaving the way keep calling TJ a liar about the split and totally disagree on what happened at that lunch, as if they were there. Only hearing what Faber told them as if it were the only side of the story. This is a big reason why I agree with Cruz, while watching TUF this season I got the same feeling, all this hatred for TJ stems from Faber and his Team is fighting his battle.

  • El Gvapo

    The truth is that the lot of them are a bunch of poofs, arguing like schoolgirls about it. It’s an embarrassment watching them go on. What sort of grown adult would hold a grudge about such a thing?