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Chael Sonnen Tells TJ Dillashaw “Those Checks Aren’t Coming” From New Gym

Kelsey Mowatt

TJ Dillashaw

One of the reasons TJ Dillashaw has decided to leave Team Alpha Male to go train with the Elevation Fight Team is because the gym is going to pay him to do so. But, according to Chael Sonnen, the UFC’s bantamweight champ shouldn’t count on banking that money…

Recently Dillashaw buzzed the MMA world by announcing he’s leaving TAM and heading to Colorado to train with Elevation Fight Team. The new camp has several of the region’s top coaches instructing there, and Duane Ludwig’s gym is nearby, but Dillashaw will also get paid to train at the facility. Since nearly every fighter on the planet doesn’t get compensated to train at a certain gym, the news surprised more than a few folks.

Well, recently Sonnen weighed in on development on his podcast, “You’re Welcome“, and “The American Gangster” had this to say (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):

“T.J. left under the guise that he was going to be paid to train,” said Sonnen.¬†“Do you guys understand how silly that is? Gyms don’t succeed. Us in the business can tell you. Gym doors get locked up every week. The mats get sold, the ring gets torn down, the lease isn’t paid. The gym business is a tough one. I love the sport but I understand that’s a tough business.

“Now a gym without a long history is offering to pay T.J. Dillashaw? T.J, those checks aren’t coming, brother. That was a really, really sucker move by you. You must not have an advisor.”

There you have it. While Sonnen maybe exaggerating just a wee bit, by saying¬†Dillashaw won’t receive a check period, he does raise some real concerns. There’s a reason a lot of the super gyms take a percentage of a fighters income, rather than vice versa. Making a gym work from a financial perspective isn’t easy. This is why so many are reliant on running public classes for hobbyists and ordinary earthlings.

All this aside, Dillashaw is preparing to face former champ Dominick Cruz on January 17th in Boston.

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