As we head into Saturday night’s UFC 227, in what is one of the more anticipated championship rematches of the year, the bad blood between #1 contender Cody Garbrandt and reigning champion TJ Dillashaw has reached a boiling point, especially since the two went diss for diss in an on-screen pre-fight interview at this past Saturday’s UFC on Fox 30.
If you’ve followed the story of Dillashaw and Garbrandt all the way up to this point, you’ll know why this feud is so heated.
And you’ll also know why “No Love” is hellbent on getting revenge and recapturing the UFC Bantamweight Title.
In their 1st bout at UFC 217, Dillashaw stunned the NY crowd by knocking out the heavy hitter of Team Alpha Male.
The loss was the 1st time Garbrandt had ever been finished in his MMA career, and ever since that night, he’s been biding his time waiting for the chance to get even.
For the most part, the trash talk among the two elite UFC Bantamweights going into Saturday night, has been kept at a relative minimum, but it didn’t take long for the verbal warfare to restart as Cody Garbrandt turned the heat back up at Wednesday’s UFC 227 open workouts as he proceeded to once again insult Dillashaw.
Claiming that he was trying to cherry pick for easier fights, as opposed to taking on the best fighters in the Bantamweight Division.
“The simple fact is, T.J. didn’t want this fight, [the UFC] had to basically tell him,” Garbrandt said at the open workouts Wednesday. “He wanted to go down and fight Mighty Mouse. Even if he didn’t want to fight me, you didn’t see him wanting to fight Dominick [Cruz]. Dom has a win against him. He wants the easiest style match-up. He didn’t want to fight me – lord knows he doesn’t want to fight me, he knows what I bring to the table – Dominick’s already in his head with a win over him so he says, ‘I’m gonna go after Mighty Mouse.’ For what? Mighty Mouse is 125 pounds.”
Leading up to their 1st fight, Garbrandt had originally pushed for a super fight with current flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson after Garbrandt had withdrawn from their 1st scheduled fight, and also, because Cody ended up losing to Dillashaw altogether, the fight was never made.
Then shortly after winning the title from Cody, TJ was now the one lobbying for the Johnson fight, but Garbrandt professes the fight wouldn’t have happened anyway, as he feels the UFC wanted him to be champion instead of Dillashaw.
“That’s the thing, that was my whole idea,” Garbrandt said. “I ended up hitting up Sean Shelby and Dana White, saying I’m gonna knock T.J. out and then go down and fight Mighty Mouse. That was my original thought. T.J. stole that from me, stole everything from me. If the UFC wanted that fight to prosper, they would have made that fight happen. They don’t want that to happen. They already moved on. They want me to be the champ, that’s why the gave me the rematch. They called me and offered me the fight in March, T.J. turned it down and made all these excuses and I had to wait all the way until August to fight him. I was ready to go way before that. I told my manager, ‘I’m ready to fight. I don’t want to have my return postponed.’”
The postponing of Cody’s return not only hurt him, but it’s been almost an entire year since he last fought for the UFC Bantamweight Championship, and during his time away the division has evolved with brand new contenders such as Marlon Moraes, Raphael Assuncao, and even former champion Dominick Cruz, which all have a case for getting the next opportunity at the Bantamweight Championship, only dilemma is the division has sort of been in flux awaiting to see how this rematch of Dillashaw-Garbrandt ends up.
An according to Gardbrandt, that’s things are gonna have to be, cause if you ask him, he’s fully focused on regaining the Bantamweight belt at UFC 227, and renewing negotiations for his much-desired super fight with “Mighty Mouse”.
“New blood, it’s fine,” Garbrandt said. “I’m glad these guys are going out there and putting on performances but who are they really fighting? I’d rather fight a guy that’s stapled himself as pound-for-pound, Demetrious Johnson. I think that’s the next fight to be made after I demolish T.J. on Saturday.”
Who do you think will come out victorious at the end of UFC 227? will be Garbrandt or Dillashaw?