Home News MMA Paige VanZant to Retire Early From MMA?

Paige VanZant to Retire Early From MMA?

Photo via CVP Portraits

Urijah Faber appeared recently on Submission Radio for a wide-ranging interview that included an update on VanZant and Team Alpha Male, his thoughts on Dillashaw, more incidents from the set of TUF 25, his participation on the next SUG, and more!

“I just talked to Paige this morning,” he said. “We’re not exactly sure what Paige is planning on doing for her fight camps. You know, she’s always welcome here and I may go out there and help her. She did move to Oregon where she’s from originally, I mean, that’s where her family’s from and everything. She bought a house and that’s her home place.”

“I’m not sure what she’s planning on doing. I’ve been helping her make sure that wherever she goes she gets training in, and Chael Sonnen has been helping her get set up out there with some training. So we’re not exactly sure what she’s going to do about her camps. We have a lot of people that come and do the camps with us and she’s welcome, but I don’t think she’s made a decision necessarily on that.”

Faber was asked how he would fee is PVZ ended up training with a camp not named Team Alpha Male.

“I’d be fine with it,” he said. “To be honest, she’s had so much on her plate from the Dancing With the Stars ordeal to all of her obligations. She really would be in camp for six, seven weeks at the most for a steady stay on things, so we’re kind of used to that with her. And like I said, she’s always welcome, but we have a great relationship. However she needs my assistance, whether it’s to come out and train with her or to have her come train here or to hook her up with someone else wherever she’s going, she has that ability to lean on me for that. So she’s more than welcome obviously and it’s just kind of up to her.”

Faber was asked if PVZ could even retire early to focus on a career in entertainment.

“I wouldn’t put it past her,” he said. “I mean in all honesty, I think she’s doing this sport because she loves it along with the rest of us, but it’s time in versus what you get out, and that’s a decision she’ll have to make on her own. But I know there’s gonna be a lot of opportunities for her. She’s a talented girl. Luckily for her, she’s stayed in shape all year around and takes this sport very seriously on top of juggling a lot of things, so I would hope without a doubt there will be all sorts of opportunities for her and I would think that’s gonna happen for sure. I don’t know about when she’s gonna transition out from the sport completely, but there’s options for sure.”

Faber also discussed his coaching stint on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter, which features TAM fighter and UFC featherweight champion Cody Garbrandt vs. former TAM fighter T.J. Dillashaw.

“It was a good experience,” he said. “It was a little awkward. You know, we’ve got that history with TJ being a product of our team and basically all of his friends were on our side. And then it’s also kind of a unique year with all of the guys that were there being former TUF competitors and I think one or two were currently UFC fighters, but it’s kind of a unique gig, you know, guys that are pretty established and looking for that second chance. It was a good experience. We had a good time and it’s gonna be a lot of drama.”

“I would say it’s pretty fiery. They don’t necessarily like each other and aren’t afraid to speak their minds and it was pretty intense to be honest. People are gonna enjoy watching the show and be entertained, that’s for sure.”


“It’s such a weird situation and something that I never really foresaw or like really enjoyed partaking in in the least bit. It is funny though to see how ideologies of what really happened changed, and at this point it seems like TJ thinks that he was kicked off of our team by me, which is bizarre that he thinks that and so it’s kind of a weird thing, man. He’s kind of turned himself into a victim, like he never wanted to go and he had to leave the gym crying cause we kicked him off the team, and I’m like, when did this become reality? So at this point it’s just kind of like, I just try to stay away from the drama of the whole thing and just let my focus be my focus and everything else go.”

Dillashaw recently blamed Faber for the enmity with Garbrandt.

“Who cares what TJ thinks? I mean, what is he basing his reality on? I’m just doing my own thing,” said Faber. “It has nothing to do with me how these guys feel about each other. I mean, this is the real world, you know, I’m just doing my thing. That’s it. It’s just funny – obviously what’s happened is the guy is sitting around, thinking about stuff. I’m like, dude, you want to go to a different team? Go ahead and go to a different team, whatever purpose. Like, don’t turn yourself into a victim. It has nothing to do with me. I don’t like him turning me into the bad guy. That’s kind of weird. But other than that, you know, we’re fine.”

“Both of these guys are very, very tough. I think the thing that’s the difference, I mean, TJ, when he was training with us he was training with the best guys in the world. When he was here, I was ranked number three in the world, Cody was giving him all he could handle every single day – I won’t talk about what happens in practice necessarily, but we’ve got Chris Holdsworth, we got Chad Mendes, we’ve got on and on and on and on. It was like iron sharpening iron.

“There’s no doubt that TJ’s missing a lot of that. On top of that, a lot of people don’t understand Cody’s pedigree of wrestling. He didn’t wrestle in college because he became a fighter, but he was a guy that placed third in high school nationals – which is incredible, especially taking into account that he didn’t wrestle as a junior and senior in school due to issues with his coach and things like that. So this guy’s a talented grappler and then he’s got those hands that are some of the most dangerous in the division. So I think it’s gonna be a very competitive fight, but I think that the edge, especially now, is with Cody the champ.”

There is rumored to be tape of Garbrandt knocking out Dillashaw in training.

“Oh I’m sure it will come out,” said Faber. “I mean, if everybody wants to see it. I don’t know. What happens is, guys tape their own individual training and what I think happened is Justin [Buchholz] was taping his own training in the big room and caught some footage. So I don’t know what Justin is gonna do with that footage. It is what it is and it doesn’t really matter. Practice doesn’t even matter. Who care’s anyway. That was a day in practice, has nothing to do with what’s gonna happen the next time or the time after that or what not. But there’s no doubt that there’s some footage out there.”

TMZ reportedly offered $50,000 for the footage.

“I didn’t get offered any money,” said Faber. “But I don’t have any footage so it wasn’t offered to me. I’d have to ask around. I know there was some discussion getting paid for the footage though, which is kind of weird. To be honest, I don’t put like to stuff on social media about TJ, I don’t try to think about the whole situation. I didn’t like that situation. And it wasn’t me kicking anyone off the team. He knows that. It’s very strange that the new sentiment is that that’s what’s going on in his head. Everybody involved with him knows that’s not true. I mean, there’s no way. I just want to minimize it and it didn’t help having to coach a season against him, but this is the real world and I’m gonna have my team’s back.”

Faber also discussed his scheduled competition on Chael Sonnen’s Submission Underground for FloGrappling.

“I’m actually doing Submission Grappling match for Chael Sonnen’s organization here on May 14th on my birthday against Miyao brothers,” said Faber. “One of the Miyao brothers – he’s like a five, six-time world champ – so I’m still in training daily.”

“I’m excited. You know, Chad Mendes, he had a match not too long ago with a good friend of mine, Jeff Glover and you know, both world class grapplers in their own right, and I got to watch that and it was a pretty exciting ordeal. So I’ve been training Jiu Jitsu and competing as a grappler for twenty-something odd years between wrestling to Jiu-Jitsu to both, so I’m no stranger to it. It’s kind of the same gig [as MMA], you know, it’s a different set of rules but two guys going at it that are highly trained.”

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Aaron Portier
Highly passionate MMA Journalist, and I've followed the sport ever since my favorite fighter, Vitor Belfort won the heavyweight tournament at UFC 12. After that I've tried to go to every local MMA event around the Gulf Coast and surrounding areas and decided to make it a point to have a career in some aspect in the fighting sport other than fighting in general (didn't want to ruin my face). I'm currently enrolled at Southeastern Louisiana University working towards a degree in Communication. I cover MMA, Boxing and Football for The Daily Star newspaper in my hometown of Hammond, Louisiana, in addition to working as a promotional writer for a local Boxing promotion known as BoxnCar and I cover boxing for 8countnews.com however SciFighting.com is my home. My main goal is to bring more publicity to MMA in my area and to the sport as a whole as all of us involved with the sport are merely scratching the surface and laying the foundation of what mixed martial arts competition will be further down the road.