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What My Girlfriend Thinks of Urijah Faber



I know what most of you are thinking, Melody – my girlfriend, thinks Urijah Faber is hot. While that may be true, she is still a fan of mixed martial arts and his fights. We were talking and she popped a similar question that most of us have; why doesn’t Urijah Faber fight TJ Dillashaw?

Sure they’re friends and teammates but that doesn’t seem to stop other fighters from pummeling each other. Before being scheduled to fight Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm was going to fight friend and teammate Sarah Kaufman. Lyoto Machida knocked out good friend and training partner Mark Munoz but had dinner with him afterwards. Melody also noted that Benson Henderson and Donald Cerrone have scrapped three times in the past six years but still have had friendly Super Bowl bets.

With age being his biggest enemy now, Faber is getting towards the later end of his career. Like his main event super-fight in the Philippines against Frankie Edgar, Faber stated he is only looking for the “big” fights now. What better way to end his career other than capturing the UFC Bantamweight Championship? Or as Melody frustratingly put it, “go out with a bang” and try to achieve what he wanted from the beginning, that UFC gold. A lot of mixed martial arts fans, my girlfriend and myself want to see Urijah Faber succeed before he goes away in this sport. He’s been a pioneer for the lighter weight classes for MMA.

After graduating from Cal State Fullerton, TJ Dillashaw felt like he didn’t reach all his goals with collegiate wrestling and contemplated turning to mixed martial arts. Shortly after graduating, Dillashaw was recruited by Urijah Faber to join Team Alpha Male and to pursue a career in MMA. Subsequently, he won his first four professional fights before joining the cast of season fourteen’s The Ultimate Fighter. Dominating all his opponents in the house, TJ Dillashaw was looking to become the first Ultimate Fighter Bantamweight winner. However, John Dodson stopped him in one round by TKO. That didn’t stop Dillashaw from climbing the bantamweight ladder though. He went on to win eight of his next nine fights which include a highly impressive performance of dethroning Renan Barao to win the UFC Bantamweight Championship belt, and two successful title defenses by stoppage.

TJ Dillashaw is currently the reigning UFC Bantamweight Champion, a weight class where Urijah Faber has always been a fight or two away from being in title contention. Yes we know Faber coached Dillashaw, yes we know they’re friends, yes we know they train at the same gym.. well used to at least.

Recently, TJ Dillashaw announced his departure from Team Alpha Male to train with Duane Ludwig, a man he has credited so much for his recent success. Both Dillashaw and Faber have expressed how they felt with Dillashaw leaving the team and both sides have been interesting thus far.

Urijah Faber appeared on the Stud Show Radio podcast and explained why he didn’t want TJ Dillashaw coming back and sparring with Team Alpha Male. It does, in fact, make sense since Team Alpha Male has several bantamweight prospects such as TUF winner Chris Holdsworth and UFC newcomer Cody Garbrandt. Faber doesn’t want Dillashaw to come in and see any flaws that these prospects might have.

“He’s got a temper and doesn’t hold back sometimes… It doesn’t make sense for you to come in and spar with our guys.” – Urijah Faber

That doesn’t necessarily mean Faber is closing the door on longtime friend and training partner, Dillashaw. In fact, he likes TJ and has no problem maintaining a good friendship with him. Does Faber call Dillashaw his best friend? No, but Urijah doesn’t dislike him as much as he dislikes Cruz.

“If people want to leave, we never ask people to stay if they don’t want to stay. If you want to be friends, let’s be friends.” – Urijah Faber


TJ Dillashaw was recently on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani and informed him that Faber has banned Dillashaw from stepping inside Team Alpha Male’s gym again, a place that Dillashaw has called home for the past six years.

“He [Faber] took it pretty hard and I was actually forced out of the gym. I’m not allowed to work out at Alpha Male anymore because of the decision I made.” – TJ Dillashaw

Despite saying, they wouldn’t fight each other. TJ Dillashaw has gone back on that statement saying that he most likely will if the opportunity arises now. Dillashaw also stated he is absolutely confident that he would win that fight between them.

“I don’t want to have to do it, but I’ll be the last statement on his career if that needs to be, but it’s not the way I really want to do it.” – TJ Dillashaw

Tension is certainly building up between Faber and Dillashaw now. If Faber can get past Frankie Saenz and if TJ can successfully defend his belt against Dominick Cruz, could we see a potential fight between teacher and student?

Random Facts

  • TJ Dillashaw has always prepared for a mixed martial fight (amateur and professional) at Team Alpha Male.
  • Urijah Faber is 0-3 in title fights but 8-1 in regular bouts in the UFC.


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Also, if you liked my article be sure to follow me on Twitter as well @Trigga_MMA. Thank you!



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Exclusive: Mike Ekundayo, “He could come with anything, I don’t care”



In a little less than a week, Rise of Champions crowns its inaugural bantamweight champion. The crowning of the first 135 lb. champion marks the young promotions first champion. It makes sense why the promotion owned and operated by UK MMA star, Brad Pickett, and Team Titan head coach, Mickey Papas plan to crown the promotions first champion in the bantamweight division. Pickett competed in the division throughout his tenure with the WEC, and ultimately the entity which absorbed the light weight promotion, the UFC. Even more-so, two young and rising prospects of the division. One undefeated in his professional and amateur career, the other riding a seven consecutive victories, five by submission. The two meet February 17th, Mike Ekundayo puts his career unbeaten streak up against Jonas Magard’s at ROC 5, for the aforementioned, inaugural bantamweight championship.

Speaking to the undefeated Ekundayo before his fight, he believes this opportunity to be inevitable. Born in Hackney, (a borough of London) early in life, Ekundayo was no stranger to cramming his belongings into large cardboard boxes. At the age of 7, he moved from Hackney to Herne Hill, a district located in South London. Two years later he found himself in similar situation, moving from his vaguely new home in Herne Hill to Brixton. A road trip in the car to his new home, took approximately 5 minutes.

It is admittedly, not an easy life. In a harrowing article describing the horrors of gang life in London by the, former gang member turned community activist, made the claim, “When you are from Brixton, from Peckham, west London, anywhere in London, you are seeing hardship where a lot of communities can’t reach their full potential”.

In his own words, Ekundayo describes his home as, “not the best start to have in your life. It’s not the best upbringing”. But that couldn’t matter any less for him. Not only does the London resident consistently work to grow his potential, he gets to see it every day. His coaches Brad Pickett and Mickey Papas hold the knowledge as well as first-hand experience, increasing his limits with every session. “We’re all close”, speaking of his coaches and team. “My head coach is Mickey Papas, he’s very knowable in the game. He’s been around for a very long time. He teaches me a lot, I can learn a lot of stuff from Mickey Papas. Sometimes I just think, how does he know all of this? Where did he get this information from?”

He continued, “While I was coming up through amateur, Brad (Pickett) was still an active fighter, but nowadays he’s taken a coaching approach. So he’s coaching us prospects getting us to where he got to and further… He’s been through it all, gotten to the top, and stayed at the top”.

Further discussing his coach, “For UK MMA, you could definitely call Brad a legend. He’s done a lot in his career, and someone who I rate highly as an MMA fighter is Demetrious Johnson, and of course Brad has got a win over (him). I feel like just being surrounded by someone like Brad, you’re working towards the right things. When he passes information onto you, you respect it that bit more because of far he got in his career. He’s definitely given me the right guidance, I trust his guidance”.

When it comes to the upcoming title fight, confidence poured out from where praise and respect had once been. “I just think it’s my time, to be honest. I really do believe it’s my time for all of this. The work I put in, certain things become inevitable”, he said. “I actually called this after I won my third fight, I called for belts and big shows. I spoke it to existence”. He continued, “It’s my time to finally to get a strap of some sort. All the straps is what we’re going for, all of them. We’re going for every one”.

“Rise of Champions is my show… That’s how I feel when I’m performing on ROC, it’s just my show, it’s my time to shine. Everyone knows who there here to see, there not really there to see the other guys. It’s my time, it’s my show and I’m going to put on a show on February 17th and I’m going to win that belt”.

The infectious nature of his positive attitude was palpable. Although we only spoke through small rectangular devices, I could feel his energy in the room. His attitude shined brightest when talking about what it would mean to be the first ever ROC Bantamweight champion. Ekundayo claimed, “It just means a lot to have my first belt in anything to be honest… Within myself, I call myself a champion, every day. But now, other people would have to call me a champion because I’ve got a belt… And one thing I really want to do is, which sounds a bit weird, I just want to take the belt home to my area, to Brixton.”

“I just want to take it to my area, and just show the people of that area what hard work can achieve… I want to just take it to my people and show them that not for nothing, we are from Brixton, it’s not the best start to have in your life. It’s not the best upbringing but you can rise above it and you can achieve your goals and that’s what the belt will mean”.

When the conversation shifted to the topic of his opponent, Ekundayo had less encouraging words rolling off his tongue. Jonas Magard, the second half of the ROC 5 main event, holds a record of 7-4. Currently he owns a seven fight win streak after starting his career 1-3. Ekundayo thought, “He did fight quite decent guys in his three loses… but in the seven fight win streak, none of his opponents have been of caliber”.

He elaborated further, “What’s in my thoughts is more me, then it is of him. So, he could come with anything, I don’t care. I’m just focused on how I’m going to be picture perfect. How I’m going to paint a masterpiece, how I’m going to make it a beautifully perfect performance. That’s what my primary focus is on, so what he does to me is irrelevant, I’m just going to focus on how I’m going to be perfect on the night of February 17th”.

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UFC 222 Re-Worked with Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya, and Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega



UFC 222 has been saved, and it didn’t take a superhero to lift the burning boulder which was Max Holloway’s injury and withdrawal. All it took was a female named Cyborg and a man with a demeanor so smooth, he could be mistaken for an alter-ego. Cris Cyborg now serves as the UFC 222 main event when she defends her featherweight belt against Yana Kunitskaya. Frankie Edgar bumped down to the co-main event to face Brian Ortega in what is likely a title eliminator. The news of the UFC 222 revival originally stemmed from a report by and confirmed later in the evening by the UFC.

Over the course of the week, reports surrounded the Las Vegas card and whether it would survive. Multiple options were reportedly being mulled over; cancelling the card outright, changing the pay-per-view (PPV) to a ‘Fight Night’ with an Edgar vs. Ortega main event, Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt 2 main event, among others. Ultimately, the promotion landed on Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya as the new main event, while also booking Brian Ortega.

This adjustment of the card places their women’s Featherweight champion in the second PPV main event in three months. Cris Cyborg recently put her undisputed Featherweight title on the line against Holly Holm at the year ending card, UFC 219. She successfully defended her belt by unanimous decision, in what was an amazing technical display from the Brazilian. In her octagon career, Cyborg is undefeated in her four appearances with three KO/TKO stoppages.

The second half of the new main event, Yana Kunitskaya, makes her UFC debut against the scariest women on the roster. If the 145 lb. champion was not enough of a challenge, Kunitskaya also makes her first appearance in the division since defeating Cindy Dandois in December of 2010. Of Russia descent, her most recent performances came inside the Invicta FC cage. At the female-only promotion, she posted a record of 1-1, with 1 No Contest. Her loss and no contest, both came at the hands of former UFC Featherweight title challenger, Tonya Evinger.

Turning to the co-main event, both fighters have been relatively inactive but, for good reason. Brian Ortega amazingly forced perennial men’s Featherweight contender, Cub Swanson, to tap in the second round of their ‘Fight Night: Fresno’ contest. Ortega fought twice in 2017, but more-so stayed inactive following his stoppage victory over Swanson. The Californian contender announced his desire to wait in line for the next title shot following the recent victory.

For Frankie Edgar, his last fight took place at UFC 211 when he absolutely demolished young and rising star, Yair Rodriguez. A card which took place last May. While Ortega holds an undefeated record, Edgar is undefeated in his previous 9 fights, excluding people named Jose Aldo.

UFC 222 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 3rd.

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UFC Middleweight Champion, Robert Whittaker Announces Birth of Third Child



Times seem dull and dreary for the UFC’s Middleweight Champion, Robert Whittaker. The New Zealand born fighter withdrew from the promotions event debut in the eastern region of his residence, Australia. UFC 221, which takes place this Saturday, booked Whittaker to defend his title for the first time against former division champion, Luke Rockhold. His withdrawal was due to mistreatment of a serious staph infection inside of the Australians stomach.

It couldn’t get much worse, having to disappoint fans, and missing the first UFC event in eastern Australia. As it turns out, it could not get worse for Whittaker. Life only got better, as he had the pleasure of announcing the birth of his third child.

His new child is the champions third and first girl. Information regarding his child is limited as this moment is a tender and special time for the Whittaker family.

UFC 221 takes place in Perth, Australia at Perth Arena on February 11th. The cards main event features Whittakers short notice replacement, Yoel Romero taking on Luke Rockhold. Much to the satiety of fans, an interim belt is not in the equation in this instance.

Thank God. Excuse me, thank Dana White.

UFC 221 also features the ‘Super Samoan’ Mark Hunt vs. Curtis Blaydes, Tai Tuivasa faces Cyril Asker, Alexander Volkanovski vs. Jeremy Kennedy and more.

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