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McGregor Relishes in Predicting Team Alpha Male Split

UFC interim featherweight champion Conor McGregor sensed trouble brewing a mile away at Team Alpha Male. Call the man Mystic Mac because he predicts these things.

Urijah Faber, the founder of Team Alpha Male, opened his arms to T.J. Dillashaw when he was nothing more than a raw prospect. He welcomed Dillashaw into his gang of brothers that mostly consisted of lightweight, featherweight, bantamweight and flyweight fighters.

Under the tutelage of Faber and the rest of the team, Dillashaw’s career soared as he rapidly developed into one of the best fighters in the world. Meanwhile, Faber has floated around aimlessly between bantamweight and featherweight after losing six consecutive title fights.

The reigning UFC bantamweight champion at the time was Renan Barao, who had already defeated Faber twice. Jose Aldo ran things in the featherweight division, and he had a convincingly lopsided decision win over Faber from five years ago.

Life as a glorified gatekeeper had become Faber’s new reality at 135 pounds, unless Barao somehow lost the UFC title.

And then it happened.

Dillashaw was chosen to step in against Barao at UFC 173 for an injured Raphael Assuncao. The rest is history. Dillashaw dethroned Barao and took over as the new bantamweight king. The spotlight that once belonged to Faber began to shift towards Dillashaw, who owes much of his success to Duane Ludwig, Team Alpha Male’s former head coach.

Despite the inner-turmoil between the team and Ludwig, Faber remained loyal to Dillashaw. Even when the two sides agreed to part ways, Faber was okay with Dillashaw continuing to divvy up his training equally between Team Alpha Male and Ludwig. Not once did Faber even consider fighting his teammate.

Therein lied the problem for McGregor, who called Dillashaw a “snake in the grass” during a recent episode of The Ultimate Fighter:

“Urijah is an absolute p—-y. He took some kid out of school, showed him the ropes, brought him in, showed him the path, gave him an opportunity and brings in a standup coach to coach the gym. He takes over the coaching and then takes T.J. with him. I think it’s a b—h move on T.J.’s part, and I think it’s a b—h move on Urijah’s part for not recognizing it.”

Dillashaw was still bouncing between camps when McGregor made these comments. “Recognize the enemy” was McGregor’s final words of advice to Faber.

On Tuesday night, Dillashaw announced on Stud Radio that he would be leaving Team Alpha Male for Elevation Fight Team in Denver. According to Dillashaw, this decision came down to money.

“They’re offering to pay me to train, instead of me paying to train. This sport is growing so much that that’s the way I feel like it should be,” said Dillashaw.

The move to Colorado puts Dillashaw in the same neck of the woods as Ludwig, who owns a martial arts academy in Denver. Dillashaw confirmed he would continue to work with Ludwig, along with training with Elevation Fight Team.

After hearing of the Team Alpha Male split, McGregor wasted little time gloating over his latest prophecy.

Faber released a statement to MMAFighting.com saying the team was sad to see Dillashaw leave.

“We are sad to see [Dillashaw] go, but we’re excited about the next set of champions being developed at Team Alpha Male,” said Faber.

Dillashaw’s exit opens up the intriguing possibility of Faber going all-in on the bantamweight title. Could we see Dillashaw vs. Faber in the future? Things change in a blink of an eye in the fight business.

In an individual sport like MMA, it’s OK to be selfish at times. Dillashaw pushed aside the rest of the world and made the decision he felt was best for him.

Perhaps it’s time for Faber to do the same.

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