TJ Dillashaw Next Fight MIA, but Dana White Promises He and Urijah Faber Would Fight

August 31, 2014
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TJ DillashawFresh off of a fifth-round TKO stoppage of last-minute replacement Joe Soto at UFC 177 on Saturday night, bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw isn’t exactly excited to be considering who his next opponent might be.

Having said that he’s a company man that will fight whoever they put in front of him, for the moment, Dillashaw would like to take a step back for a little rest and relaxation. After all, he did just go from dominating Renan Barao to win the belt in May and then had to almost immediately shift back into fight gear for a rematch that was supposed to have happened on Saturday night in Sacramento.

The rematch, however, was scratched on Friday when Barao, dizzy from cutting weight, fell and hit his head and had to go to the hospital, eliminating him from the bout.

UFC newcomer Soto, who was slated to face Anthony Birchak on the undercard, stepped up to challenge Dillashaw and kept the UFC 177 headliner intact. It was a valiant effort by the former Tachi Palace Fights champion and Bellator tournament winner, but Dillashaw was too much for him.

But now the conversation shifts, as it inevitably does, to what’s next for Dillashaw.

As mentioned, he would like to take a little time off from being in fight mode. He’ll be in the gym to help his teammates prepare, but Dillashaw is tired of thinking about his next opponent.

“My mind was on Renan Barao the last four months. But I’m fighting anybody they want to put in front of me and beating them,” he said, before adding that he’d like some time to decompress.

A logical next step would be Raphael Assuncao, who was already passed over once when Barao was awarded an immediate rematch and is the No. 3 ranked bantamweight behind Barao and Urijah Faber.

UFC president Dana White agreed, during a scrum with reporters after UFC 177, that Assuncao would be a likely candidate, but added that it hadn’t been discussed yet. Nothing is yet concrete for Dillashaw’s next defense, other than it won’t be Barao, whom White said on Saturday has to “at least” take one other fight before earning his way back into contention.

Of course, with Faber ranked No. 2, the conversation came back around to the “teammate vs. teammate” scenario?

That’s still a long way off, however, as Faber, despite his ranking, is only one fight removed from losing to Barao in a bid for the belt. He defeated Alex Caceres in his most recent outing, but is currently nursing some injured ribs without a fight on the horizon.

Being Dillashaw’s teammate, Faber and the champ have both said there is nary a scenario that they’d contemplate fighting each other.

But after some prodding and poking, actually not that much prodding and poking, White offered up that teammates or not, Dillashaw and Faber would fight each other when the time is right.

“It’s no different than Georges St-Pierre and Rory MacDonald – when you have guys who are part of a team, they train together, when they win they’re all excited for each other, their families are here. You don’t run around saying I’ll fight him tomorrow; I want his belt,” commented White.

“It’s like Rory MacDonald is in GSP’s house – meaning his gym – he’s not gonna run around saying I want GSP for the belt. There’s a time and a place and a way to do that. You’re never gonna hear the guy say it publicly. They would never do that.

“(And) Faber’s got to be in a position to fight for the title. And if he is, I promise you he will do it. I know he will. And I know TJ will fight him, too.”

For know, however, that’s one more thing that Dillashaw can set to the curb, or at least let reporters and his boss hypothesize about, while he takes some well-earned time away from the Octagon.

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  • drkdisciple

    Funny that Dana is comparing this to the Rory & GSP situation. Rory always said he wouldn’t fight GSP and he never did!

    • Timothy Malone

      This fight seems more likely though because while Rory could wait for GSP to retire, Faber obviously can’t do the same with Dillashaw. If he wants a belt before he begins declining he needs to act now.

      • drkdisciple

        I completely agree with you , just think that it was a bad comparison.

    • Advance*

      It’s not really a bad comparison since Faber and Dillashaw haven’t agreed to fight yet either. I think his point is they were never forced into a situation where it was necessary and Faber and Dillashaw aren’t in that position yet either, so there’s no reason to say they would fight each other.

      • drkdisciple

        Both Faber and Dillashaw stated that for the right money they would fight each other..Rory and GSP stated they never would…so yes I do believe there is a huge difference .

  • Dragon Kid

    It’s about time teammates fought one another. It’s a too common bs approach nowadays to not fight each other out if respect. You can still have respect for each other after a fight, it’s just good business to face each other go fulfill ones potential to being the best one can be. Liddell didn’t need to think twice about facing Tito and whooped his ass both times.

  • Nate “THE CHEAT” Marquardt

    Its too bad Dana white didn’t try this hard to make Fitch and Koscheck fight back in the day when they took turns fighting and training together for the same opponents. However I think Fitch telling Dana basically to ‘f— off’ that time at a post fight conference ended up being one of the nails that helped send Fitch packing. Fitch made his own bed with the UFC always complaining and talking s–t about UFC brass and telling the world to f— off when everyone called him lay n prayer

    That said i doubt Faber and Dillashaw will ever fight. I think Faber will continue to fight much lower ranked opponents and then eventually fight Cruz again.

  • solo

    I bet my arm Faber is jelaous of TJ!!!