There is something special about watching this week's episode of TUF knowing that Conor McGregor had foreseen TJ Dillashaw and Urijah Faber's separation. It is certainly very interesting to watch the interaction between the two perennial bantamweights knowing that Dillashaw, who appeared as a guest coach for Team USA on this week's episode, would leave Team Alpha Male just a couple of months later.
Julian Erosa and Urijah Faber seem lost for words as to why McGregor has matched him up with dangerous French striker, Mehdi Baghdad. Erosa and Faber agree that the Irishman has done no research into his style, while 'The Notorious' tells Baghdad that all of the Americans are "afraid of the exchange" based on Team Europe's success in the last two fights.
As a former K-1 champion, Baghdad explains how he is expecting to completely dismantle Erosa in the striking exchanges. "I want to cut him so bad," he says.
While Baghdad is confident, McGregor believes the French fighter is still slightly stiff and encourages him to get lighter on his feet to allow his striking to flow more freely. McGregor believes Baghdad's best path to victory is to close the distance early on Erosa and to give him no way out of the striking exchanges. If Baghdad does that, "the KO will eventually come", according to the interim featherweight champion.
Although Erosa is cutting weight for Dillashaw's session with Team USA, he watches on from the treadmill, covered in plastics, as Dillashaw works a combination that was no doubt taught to him by former TAM striking coach Duane Ludwig. Of course, McGregor had previously claimed the bantamweight champion was "a snake in the grass" in the earlier episode, something that Dillashaw claims he is aware of.
Both Erosa and Baghdad weigh in successfully, and afterward as the two teams wait to participate in a photo shoot, McGregor takes some shots at Faber and Dillashaw.
"You never touched that belt in your life, you always fell short," McGregor tells Faber. "But the guy you brought up touched it," he adds, referring to Dillashaw.
When Andre 'Touchy' Fili claims McGregor would not be "talking shit about TJ" if the champion was present, once again, the Irishman describes Dillashaw as a "snake in the grass." McGregor implores Faber to realize what's going on with Dillashaw.
He insists that the champion is looking run Faber over, and when 'The California Kid' suggests that McGregor is afraid to fight both him and Dillashaw because they "don't get tired" the Dubliner believes the Team Alpha Male coach is having a dig at Chad Mendes. McGregor highlights how loyal he has been to SBG, which forces TAM fighters Fili and Cody Garbrandt to get involved in the verbal spat.
When Fili says he will "do something about" McGregor if he keeps up his tirade on Dillashaw, McGregor tells him to, "do something about it then." Garbrandt then steps in and says he will do something about it before he stands up and pushes McGregor, forcing both teams to their feet to separate the two UFC fighters. After the melee clams down, McGregor shouts at Garbrandt, "you will do nothing you twerp, you'll do sweet fuck all", which draws the bantamweight toward the Irishman once again.
After everything calms down, Dillashaw enters the TUF Gym and straightaway McGregor tells everyone for the umpteenth time that the champion is a "snake in the grass."
"I'd like to congratulate you and your coach Duane," he says to Dillashaw. "Urijah thinks Duane is a little snake, though."
After Dillashaw tells him he's still affiliated with both Ludwig and Team Alpha Male, McGregor disagrees.
"You ain't still there," says McGregor. "You pretend you're still there, but you ain't still there."
"Duane came in and held pads for a week and he left with him," says the interim champion to Faber as Dillashaw watches on. "Man up and realize what's going on."
"Keep that belt warm dude," Dillashaw shouts at McGregor as he leaves the TUF Gym after the photo shoot. "I don't care about what you gotta say, man."
"You're not going to touch that, you little twerp," the Dubliner replies.
"I'm coming for your fucking ass, dude," says Dillashaw.
Back at the house, there is an obvious tension between the two teams after the spat between McGregor, Faber and Dillashaw, but the fighters want to keep things cordial as to not let their focus wane from their fights. Team Europe dress up like Baghdad, in sharp clothes and sunglasses, to cheer him on for his fight.
From the first round Erosa danced around Baghdad, only leaping in to land single shots, as his French opponent looked to land with power. Although Erosa landed with more volume, Baghdad's left hand and his elbows broke through his guard on multiple occasions. As the Team Europe man looks to close the distance to land more shots, Erosa continually uses his front kick to maintain the distance.
The second round plays out in similar fashion, and although Baghdad had more success landing elbows on Erosa, the Team USA fighter can see the kickboxer's harder shots coming now and he manages to get out of the way of them a lot more.
Although McGregor feels the contest will see a third round, the judges vote unanimously in favor of Erosa as the victor over the two rounds.
With Faber back in control of the matchups, he pits the spectacular striking of Thanh Le against European grappling ace Martin Svensson for next week's show.