Former UFC featherweight champion T.J. Dillashaw thinks the belt should still be his. Two out of the three judges at UFC Fight Night 81 on Jan 17 disagreed with him. Then last week the UFC announced that the next shot at champion Dominick Cruz would go to Dillashaw’s ex-mentor and current Twitter bicker opponent Urijah Faber, at UFC 199 on June 4. That makes T.J. not the champ, and not the #1 contender, either.
“I flew to Las Vegas and met with [UFC CEO] Lorenzo Fertitta to plead my case,” said Dillashaw to Brett Okamoto for ESPN.com. “They entertained the idea of an immediate rematch. They said they’d let me know in two weeks — then I found out on social media Faber got the fight.
“I’m pretty pissed. Faber isn’t deserving. The only way this guy has stayed relevant during the last year is talking s*** about me. It’s unfortunate everything has become more about entertainment than sport. I just had a very competitive fight with Cruz. I don’t think Faber has a chance. I hope he does win, but it’s all about giving him his last title shot now. I think the UFC feels they can’t give him another fight before then and expect him to win.”
“I gave Barao the quickest rematch in UFC history, when he didn’t deserve it. When he missed weight, I took a new opponent on short notice. Lorenzo called, begging me to take a fight on 24 hours. I stepped up.
“I got to fight for my hometown and put on a show at that event, which was great, but I never got a thank you from the UFC for doing it. Never got a bonus for it.”
“I’m going to be ready and in shape if one of those guys gets hurt. One of them is old and one of them is constantly hurt, so, you know, I’ve got a good chance.
“The UFC is the greatest fight promotion in the world, but I’m very disappointed in their decision on this. I had hoped they’d care more about what I’d done in the past for this company, but I guess not. Now, a fight that makes sense for me would probably be Raphael Assuncao. I know he’s dealing with some injuries but he’s got a split-decision win against me in a fight everyone thought I won. It would be nice to get that win back.”
Dillashaw is recovering from a broken hand and foot, and expects to be back in the gym soon, training for TBA.