The 35-year-old former two time UFC champion has evolved a reputation for going all out, even in practice, but he suggests that just how he gets “ready for a fight”.
Speaking to Brendan Schaub on Showtime’s 'Food Truck Diaries', T.J, who is set to end his two year absence from the Octagon when he faces Cory Sandhagen this weekend, responded to claims he can be overly aggressive in training.
He said: “I know I am.
“I was gonna admit to it, I’m going to admit that I’m an… I don’t hide from it.
“Even, like, when we get home from practice ’til 1, like, ‘Sorry dude. I’m a f***ng d**k. I went f***ng hard.
“But that’s the way I do to get ready for a fight.
“I push every practice like it’s a fight, I’m super competitive in every motion.
“I’m gonna go to jiu-jitsu later tonight, I’m going to try to strangle (my jiu-jitsu coach) Philipe (Della Monica).”
And T.J says some of the people he trains with at his jiu-jitsu gym laugh at his seeming inability to lose in any situation.
He added: “All the guys at Gracie Barra laugh when I, like… maybe Philipe submitted me, and I’ll be, like, ‘F**k!’
"I’ll get all p****d off.
“And everybody’s like, ‘Dude, Philipe’s supposed to submit you.
“’He’s one of the best black belts ever in here.’
“I don’t give a s**t.
“I need to win always.
“And I think that’s how you push yourself to be at the top.
"At least that’s how I’ve done it to myself is that I don’t want to lose any situation, and that brings out the d**k in you.
"You become an a**hole.
“I wouldn’t say my wife is proud of that, the image of myself.
"And it’s not like I’m proud of it, but it’s got me to where I’m at.”