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16th Jan 2017

If TJ Dillashaw hated that Conor McGregor nickname before, he’s probably going to absolutely loathe it very soon

It will haunt him forever

Ben Kiely

There’s a game anyone can play with TJ Dillashaw’s Instagram account and while it’s neither fun nor rewarding, it is legitimately challenging.

It’s an easy enough game to play. Head on over to his account then pick a post, any post at random and try to count the number of snake emojis in the replies.

If you can count all of them without losing the will to live, well, it might be a stretch to say that you’ve won. However, you will get a better sense of how much that nickname has spiralled out of control since it was uttered by Conor McGregor in the TUF House back in 2015. The Notorious made the remark in reference to Dillashaw’s infamous split with Team Alpha Male to join Duane Ludwig’s Elevation Fight Team in Colorado.

“Oh there’s that little snake in the grass there.”

Just like anything Jeremy Stephens ever says online will result in a slew of ‘who the fuck is that guys,’ that reptilian moniker will likely follow him for the rest of his career and probably even after that.

If it was the worst gift he’s ever bestowed on the former bantamweight king, it may prove to be one of the best things he’s ever given to current 135 lb champion Cody Garbrandt, who trained alongside Dillashaw at Team Alpha Male.

The UFC confirmed during their broadcast of Sunday’s Phoenix card that both warriors will coach opposite each other in season 25 of The Ultimate Fighter. They will coach a cast of welterweights who are either former winners of the reality TV series or past contestants, including one current fighter that’s on the UFC roster.

This new gimmick is the latest attempt by the promotion to revitalise the struggling series after their risk with the format of TUF 24 paid off. That season saw flyweight champions from other promotions to fight for a shot at Demetrious Johnson, with the finale drawing over 1 million eyes on Fox.

After the season finishes, Garbrandt will have his first title defence against Dillashaw, who secured his place as the number one contender with his stunning decision win over Jon Lineker at UFC 207. Shortly after the news was confirmed, Garbrandt uploaded a photo to his Instagram account that is surely a sign of things to come on the series.

What’s the world record for number of snake emojis received by one person in a calendar year? We’re certain 2017 will be the year Dillashaw breaks the record.

To be fair, he probably already set it.
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