Former Ultimate Fighter winner and Team Alpha Male coach Chris Holdsworth has finally broken his silence regarding a rumored cheapshot that TJ Dillashaw landed on him during a training session.
Team Alpha Male stars Cody Garbrandt and Urijah Faber have both claimed on numerous occasions that Dillashaw intentionally kneed Holdsworth in the head during a grappling session at the gym a few years ago, which they claim directly contributed to the post-concussion symptoms that have effectively shut down the promising rising stars MMA career.
However, Holdsworth has gone out of his way to avoid talking about the incident, until this week when he finally decided to speak out after becoming frustrated with Dillashaw’s continual denials that he’d done anything wrong.
“I’ve been quiet about this for awhile,” Holdsworth told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “I’m just not the type of person to jump into people’s feuds or drama. I like to lay low and just do my thing, but there’s been some talk, and after I heard T.J. lying about the subject, I’ve got to speak up on it.
“T.J. has always been a great fighter, he’s a great athlete, but he’s always had, I don’t know, some type of competitive feud with me ever since I came to the team. I don’t know if it was because of envy or jealousy or whatever it was, but I just kinda always brushed it off as him being competitive and being, just, ultra-aggressive. I was always up for the fight, but there was multiple occasions where T.J. got a little bit too aggressive, he went overboard in training. He’s kneeing you while we’re boxing. He’s throwing elbows while we’re doing jiu-jitsu. And I remember that instance that’s out in the public — yeah, it’s definitely true.
“I shot in on T.J. and I was on all fours, he was sprawled out and he kneed me on top of the head. And that was before The Ultimate Fighter. I remember I was kinda jarred up and everyone was watching, and I took like 30 seconds off and I kept going, I kept going through the rounds and I finished practice. But after that practice, I was concussed, and that was my first concussion. And it just kinda kept happening from there.
“There was another instance leading up to the Chico (Camus) fight (in 2014), when he was getting ready for (Renan) Barao.
And then it comes to where I hear he’s on some special supplements and stuff, and I just lost respect for the guy. There’s no hard feelings, it’s whatever it is, but he’s a cheater.”
For the record, Dillashaw has previously claimed that the real reason Holdsworth’s career has been on ice for the past three years wasn’t anything to do with him, but rather blamed it on bad dieting and weight cuts.
That being said, while Dillashaw has always denied having intentionally kneed Holdsworth in the head, he has admitted to being over-agressive in training at times – something that a number of other Team Alpha Male members have also mentioned in the past.