LAS VEGAS -- T.J. Dillashaw knows that much has been made about how his gym, Sacramento's Team Alpha Male, has fared against fighters from Rio's Nova Uniao camp.
The results haven't been pretty when MMA's top two teams specializing in lighter weight classes collide: UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo has defeated TAM's Urijah Faber and Chad Mendes (and rematches Mendes in August); UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao has twice defeated Faber.
But as Dillashaw prepares to challenge Barao for the bantamweight title Saturday in the main event of UFC 173 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, he says he's got to shove that all aside.
After all, as important as his teammates are in his fight preparation, once the Octagon gate locks, it's all on him.
"I haven't really thought too much about [the team rivalry]," Dillashaw said Thursday. "Ultimately, it's an individual sport, and obviously we train as a team and we care for each other like a family, but ultimately it's about myself. From a financial standpoint and the goals I set for myself, this is what it's all about.
"Obviously I'd like to win it for my team and my coach, but it all comes down to wanting to win it for myself."