Team Alpha Male has always been an elite training facility for the lighter weight classes. But a UFC title had eluded them until TJ Dillashaw defeated Renan Barao at UFC 173 to capture the bantamweight championship.
When Dillashaw finished Barao midway through the final round, Team Alpha Male exploded in celebration. They had finally won a UFC title and did so in one-sided fashion. Before the celebration got into full swing, the question was posed, would the newly crowned champion be willing to fight Team Alpha Male founder Urijah Faber?
Faber is more than simply a training partner to Dillashaw. He’s his mentor and close friend.
“He’s a good dude. You saw after he lost to Renan Barao, that quick stoppage, that he was willing to give my name a shout-out while one of the worst things that can happen to you. It shows his great character. That’s tough for me because I’ve looked up to the guy. I’ve copied him. I’ve done a lot of stuff for my career because of him. It’s going to be tough if that situation ever comes up. I don’t want to have to fight the guy. He’s brought me up in the sport. But, you know,” said Dillashaw during a recent appearance on broadcaster Joe Rogan’s podcast. “I owe a lot to him for where I’m at.”
Faber is ranked second in the 135-pound division. He is the former WEC featherweight champion and has fought for the UFC bantamweight title three times. A UFC title is all that’s missing from Faber’s Hall of Fame worthy resume. Over his 11-year career, Faber has never lost a non-title fight.
UFC president Dana White is all for teammates fighting each other. But Team Alpha Male is a tight-knit group. Dillashaw describes the team as family. But if the price is right, we could see Dillashaw and Faber face off inside the Octagon.
“I’ve done every day of practice under Urijah. For four years now I’ve been at Urijah’s gym nonstop. I haven’t gone anywhere else to train for an extended period of time. I’ve been there. It’s going to be tough. We’re good friends. We’re family. Everyone in that gym, we’ve created a little family to where you’ve got that guy’s back,” he explained.
“You saw how crazy they went when I won the belt. What made me tear up more than winning the belt is going back and watching Fight Pass and seeing those guys react to me winning. It’s a crazy situation that we could be put in, but they want the drama behind the fights. Hey, if they’re willing to shell out the cash maybe me and Urijah will have a smile on our face while fighting,” added the bantamweight champion.