ByAmy Kaplan, writer at
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Amy Kaplan

Former bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw is pretty confused that he hasn't been given the next title shot, but while most fighters would be blaming the UFC for their troubles, Dillashaw thinks his lack of a push might actually be due to his management team and the new owners.

"I know WME and CAA are rivals, and I really hope this has nothing to do with that," Dillashaw said to "Ever since WME took over, that's been in the back of my head - that it could be a conflict of interest."

Dillashaw is managed by CAA and WME is the new owner of the UFC, so they are direct competitors.

"It seemed like my management kept getting shunned," he said. "They were trying to get a hold of the UFC, and [chief operating officer] Lawrence Epstein actually told my management the best way to get through was for me to approach Dana myself. I was my own manager for all this. If there is a conflict of interest, that needs to be brought up."

After Dillashaw lost the belt to current champion Dominick Cruz via a close decision that he felt he won, he assumed he'd get another title shot.

That didn't happen. Instead, the company matched Cruz with Urijah Faber at UFC 199.

"It's crazy, man," he said. "I lose one split decision to Cruz, in a fight half the people thought I won, and all of a sudden I drop from No. 4 on the UFC's pound-for-pound list to No. 14."

Dillashaw has since dropped to No. 15 in the P4P rankings.

He says the UFC assured him that if he won his next fight, he'd be on track for a title shot. So, when he beat Raphael Assuncao at UFC 200, he assumed he'd be up for a rematch. Instead, the company booked Cody Garbrandt for the next shot at the belt.

"I just don't understand what I did wrong," Dillashaw said. "I don't talk enough s--- is what it really comes down to."

Dillashaw even went as far as betting $100,000 if the champ agreed to fight him.

Cruz never responded to Dillashaw's bet, instead focusing on Garbrandt who is only ranked as the Number 5 bantamweight (Dillashaw is ranked Number 1).

"It's unfortunate this is turning into more of an entertainment business than a sport. It's tough to decide what side of that fine line do you want? Be a complete a------ and play the heel, or be yourself? To me, it's easier in my life to not have to worry about being an actor."

Dillashaw will face John Lineker next when they square off at , the very same card that Cruz will defend the title against Garbrandt.

Perhaps we'll see Dillashaw vent some of this frustration in the Octagon come December.


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