A very interesting rivalry is brewing between two of the best mixed martial arts (MMA) camps in the world, the Jose Aldo-led Team Nova Uniao of Brazil and Urijah Faber's Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California.
While it's safe to say the Nova Uniao camp has gotten the best of Alpha Male for the most part, especially in championship fights, T.J. Dillashaw turned the tide in his team's favor after he dethroned Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight champion Renan Barao at UFC 173 via fifth round knockout (video).
According to Jose Aldo, Barao may have underestimated Dillashaw going into the bout, especially after hearing UFC President Dana White brand him one of the best in the world; something that may have played with Renan's head.
Junior spoke to the Brazilian radio show No Mundo Do Luta (via MMA Fighting) and gave his thoughts on the championship fight.
"Renan was well prepared, and of course that (Dillashaw) was also well trained, but Dillashaw surprised him. Barao could have been better physically, mentally, everything, but he didn't expect the way Dillashaw fought. Let's say Barao was more relaxed than the other fight, he thought he would get in there as the champion, throw a punch and get the knockout. He didn't have his feet on the ground, a good head. Two days before the fight, Dana White said Barao was the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, that he could knock out every fighter, and maybe that made him underestimate Dillashaw, who got there humbly and showed how things work."
A day after Dillashaw's win, the team jokingly posted a list of people who would be in attendance at one of their upcoming seminars. A list that included Barao's name. As you can see here, the photo was deleted and replaced with another which showed the former champ's name crossed out.
That didn't sit too well with Aldo, who was very disappointed with the sign of disrespect the team showed toward his camp, seeing as how Team Nova Uniao has always been respectful toward Faber and Co. Furthermore, Aldo said if anyone should be attending seminars, it's "The California Kid," who has gone 0-3 in title fights against Barao (twice) and Aldo himself (once).
Now, the UFC featherweight kingpin vows to get payback for his camp, and it all begins on Aug. 2, 2014 when he faces Chad Mendes in the main event of UFC 176 in Los Angeles, California.
"By their logic, how many times would we have to sign Urijah Faber in a MMA seminar at Nova Uniao? It was lack of respect. We always defeat them, (Urijah) Faber always lost to us and we never did that. We always respected them. We always tried to help them, like when they came here to the gym. We never disrespected them. But it's cool. Let's be patient, we will meet again. I have a fight coming up with Chad (Mendes), and Barao, God willing, will fight Dillashaw again and we will get the payback."
Aldo knocked Mendes out in their first encounter back at UFC 142 two years ago, and "Money" has been doing all the right things to earn a rematch against the 145-pound champion.
But now that he's earned it, he'll be facing a fighter hellbent on getting some revenge of his own.
Mendes, I'm sure, will be very well prepared.