UFC on Fuel TV 4’s TJ Dillashaw Knows He Has to Crawl Before He Walks

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning.”

Benjamin Franklin

UFC on Fuel TV 4’s T.J. Dillashaw knows all too well about continual growth.

After a tremendous high school wrestling career, Dillashaw started his collegiate wrestling career in a disappointing way.  Knowing he had to step up his game, the Californian traveled all the way to Ukraine to become a better wrestler and the results were outstanding.

Going from a sub-par record of 14-16, Dillashaw would later become a two-time NCAA qualifier, and place fourth in the Pac-10 championship two years in a row.

At 6-1 in mixed martial arts, Dillashaw would be the first to admit he’s a baby in the sport of mixed martial arts.  The Team Alpha Male pupil is very ambitious to get to the top, but he knows that with Vaughan Lee he’s got to crawl before he walks when he heads to the HP Pavillion in San Jose, Calif.

“They (UFC) knows I have a lot of growing to do. It’s good for me the way they’re doing it,” Dillashaw told MMAWeekly Radio.

“The guy has a lot of experience and he’s been fighting a good long time.  He’s definitely not someone to look past and just go yeah it’s an easy fight; he’s a worthy opponent that I got to be careful about and be on my A game like always.  I think the weight class is stacked with guys. Not everyone is top 10, but everyone is really good.”

Dillashaw isn’t kidding either, at bantamweight there’s no shortage of opponents with technical proficiency in all areas of the game.  Even well-respected veterans such as Kid Yamamoto, Jeff Curran, and Miguel Torres are having uphill battles to stay at the top.

Now entering his second UFC fight since The Ultimate Fighter, the 26-year-old is excited. Dillashaw saw Lee submit the legendary Kid Yamamoto at UFC 144, but doesn’t feel like Lee’s grappling is on his level.  And if the way Chris Cariaso and Brad Pickett grappled Lee is any indication, Dillashaw thinks it’ll be all she wrote at UFC on Fuel TV 4.

“As soon as I got the fight and I looked at my opponent, I was stoked on it.  I feel like I can show how fast I am compared to he is.  I think my grappling is way above his.   I mean I watched Cariaso and Pickett out grapple him.  He got mounted and taken advantage of that way, so I feel like I’m going to be able to do that and then some on the ground and that’s what is supposed to be his strong suit.”

Wednesday night’s fight at UFC on Fuel TV 4 will tell the tale.

Follow Andrew Gladstone at @gladstone1 on Twitter.
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