Last Friday, Cody Garbrandt unseated Dominick Cruz to claim the UFC bantamweight title. It was a star-making performance wherein Garbrandt not only beat the (now former) champion up but did so with relative ease, mocking Cruz during the fight with dance moves and push-ups. In the aftermath, Garbrandt began making a case for “money fights” with Jose Aldo or Conor McGregor or even a rematch with Dominick Cruz, but he showed particular disinterest in the one man at the top of most fans lists, former champion T.J. Dillashaw.
Dillashaw was also in action Friday, winning a dominant decision over the second ranked John Lineker that UFC President Dana White said “probably” puts him next in line for a title shot. But while he’s not opposed to the fight, Garbrandt maintained after his title win that Dillashaw “doesn’t even draw pay-per-view buys” and thus doesn’t make sense for him to fight.
Now it seems Garbrandt might be coming around to the idea of fighting Dillashaw. On the most recent episode of UFC Unfiltered, the champion voiced his opinion on fighting Dillashaw and seems to have changed his tune somewhat, taking umbrage with statements made by Dillashaw towards him and threatening to release video footage of him knocking out Dillashaw in training.
“I don’t mind whoopin’ T.J.’s ass,” Garbrandt said. “He was a cancer to our team and having what he tried to do - destroy it - to make that s**t personal too. I’ll spare everybody 60 bucks to buy the pay-per-view and put out the video of me knocking his ass out when I was 1-0. 1-0. He wasn’t saying that he made me cry in practice. That motherf**ker never made me cry. I wasn’t the one looking at the ceiling, being on my back looking at the ceiling, knocked out. So he’s just trying to do anything - the guy’s a horrible trash talker. Horrible.”
Should the fight come to fruition, Garbrandt and Dillashaw have a natural storyline. The two are former training partners at Team Alpha Male, the gym where Garbrandt still trains. Dillashaw won the bantamweight championship while under the Alpha Male banner but left shortly thereafter due to a conflict between the then head coach Duan Ludwig and Team owner Urijah Faber. Ludwig left to start his own camp and Dillashaw stayed with him, coaxing some fighters to join him and engendering a lot of bad blood between the two groups. All the while Garbrandt remained loyal to Faber and took offense to the way Dillashaw left the team.
“I would get satisfaction from whoopin’ his ass, that’s for sure,” said Garbrandt. “Just for what he did to the team. He sold out. He’s a sellout. He sold his friends, everybody that got him there. He forgot who got him to where he was at. Saw a little bit of money and f**kin’ ran. Ran away. But there was me always there, the uncrowned champ. I was the uncrowned champ when he was there.
“He never even won the title because truly, Cruz never lost it. So T.J. really was never a world champion. They use that ‘former world champion,’ Cruz was the world champion, never lost his belt, and I’m the one that went out there and ripped it from him.”
Dillashaw lost the belt in a controversial split decision to Cruz last January. He rebounded with dominant decision over third-ranked Raphael Assuncao and began aggressively pursuing a rematch with Cruz. When the UFC passed him over for a title shot in favor of Garbrandt, he was vocally upset and cast his ire at the UFC for undermining the sport. He then went on to dominant Lineker for three rounds, breaking the iron chinned Brazilian’s jaw and racking up a 10-8 round on all three judges scorecards. The decisiveness of his recent victories over top opponents, coupled with the easy to sell storyline seem to have convinced Garbrandt that Dillashaw might be a “money” opponent after all.
“I’m gonna sit down with Dana, Sean, and my management team and coaches and see what’s the best fight for me. I just want to enjoy this but I’m the champion now and it’s my job and duty and my responsibility to defend it against what fight makes the most sense for me. I don’t know, we’ll see. I believe that T.J. will be a good fight, a good storyline... I’ve just got to weigh in with the UFC and my management team and make the best decision for us both, to make money for everybody.”
KO OTY. Stipe Miocic wins MMA Fighting’s Knockout of the Year.
Forced hand. Mark Hunt says he accepted the Overeem fight because he felt he had to or “let his family starve.”
Trial. War Machine turns down two plea deals, trial date officially set.
Retire. Tito Ortiz is set to retire after facing Chael Sonnen this month.
This man is fighting again soon. Remember him as he was.
Nick and Snoop.
Chael on Edmund.
Zahabi breaking down the beatdown.
Calling Savant Young an MMA Star is bold.
Herb Dean responds.
The final outing of an all-time great.
Fights Gone By.
For your information.
If anyone is attending @SnacksGeller's funeral, his friend @Lonman1129 wants u to know this. He's 100% right. Tells you how unique Adam was. pic.twitter.com/30OzWyu82O— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 6, 2017
Or, Cyborg did it.
That fight actually peaked at over 900k and was the 1st female MMA Main Event on a national TV platform. @ginacarano really started it all. https://t.co/kH3feEjBxA— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) January 5, 2017
Or just petition for it. You might get it. That’s how this works.
I'm not petitioning a rematch yet @Amanda_Leoa I'll earn it. You're disrespectful of @RondaRousey & I detest you being ungrateful @ufc— Alpha Cat Zingano (@CatZingano) January 5, 2017
@CarlaEsparza1 @danawhite @Mickmaynard2 Im starting to think you cant read or something... I will fight in january and Joanna in April, np.— Jessica Andrade (@JessicaMMApro) January 4, 2017
@JessicaMMApro @danawhite @Mickmaynard2 hmmm just like I said I would take a fight before Claudia? Yet all you do is run your mouth about it— Carla Esparza (@CarlaEsparza1) January 5, 2017
@CarlaEsparza1 @danawhite i still dont see your fight anounced anywhere, why dont we just do this now? @seanshelby lets do this! Please let me fight the old timer.— Jessica Andrade (@JessicaMMApro) January 5, 2017
I don’t even know what to think.
This from @JacareMMA's MGMT ... https://t.co/1V5yKExQnf— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 5, 2017
Still cheaper than golf.
For 13 PPV cards at $59.99 each, and 12 mos of Fight Pass at $7.99/mo, it will cost fans $875.75 for the year for full UFC coverage in 2017.— Fightnomics Reed (@Fightnomics) January 5, 2017
Very cool https://t.co/9KrWjJUnKS— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocicufc) January 5, 2017
Damn. Mike isn’t as big as you’d think.
Rocky had successful shoulder surgery.
Alistair Overeem (41-15) vs. Mark Hunt (12-10-1); UFC 209, March 4.
Tyson Pedro (5-0) vs. Paul Craig (9-0); UFC 209, March 4.
Mauricio Rua (24-10) vs. Gian Villante (15-7); UFC Fight Night Fortaleza, March 11.
Bantamweight has three fighters in the P4P top 15 now. Four if you count Nunes. And Luke Rockhold re-entered the rankings at No. 15 despite not fighting since June and being ranked behind Yoel Romero at middleweight, who isn’t in the P4P rankings at all.
In other words, those things are a cluster.
Take it easy and see y’all Monday.
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