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Cody Garbrandt says TJ Dillashaw ‘doesn’t draw PPVs,’ it’s not a fight that makes sense

UFC 207 Weigh-ins Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Cody Garbrandt is the new king at bantamweight, having dethroned Dominick Cruz at UFC 207 in Las Vegas. Now Garbrandt has his sights set on doing a “money fight” with either featherweight champion Jose Aldo or lightweight champion Conor McGregor. If the UFC were to grant him that wish with either, that would leave Cruz and former champion TJ Dillashaw in the lurch.

Particularly Dillashaw, who has been vying for a title shot and said after his victory over John Lineker Friday night that if he didn’t get it, it’s because the system is rigged.

Yet, even though he threw out Dillashaw’s name after taking a dominant five-round decision, Garbrandt isn’t overly concerned about his former teammate’s feelings. Garbrandt changed management teams ahead of his fight with Cruz — switching from Urjiah Faber’s representation to Ali Abdel-Aziz — in order to navigate his career the way he wants it. He said everybody has been on the same page since the switch, and he wanted to sit down with his team and figure out the next step — a step that didn’t necessarily include Dillashaw.

He talked about it on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.

“Everyone that’s been along on this journey with me, that’s helped me out — you know, Urijah and his team, Ali’s management team — have all played a part in my success,” Garbrandt told Ariel Helwani. “Ali’s been great, ever since I started working with him. He’s been there for me, and I’m very happy with my decision and we’re all still close. You know, sometimes it can end in bad relationships, but I don’t like to burn bridges and Urijah’s my homie.

“And he’s with me whatever decision I make. At the end of the day I’m a grown ass man, and I got to stand by my decision. But I truly believe Ali has done great things for me, and we’re just getting started.”

Garbrandt took criticism from Dillashaw for getting the title shot with Cruz to begin with, particularly after Dillashaw defeated Raphael Assuncao at UFC 200. Garbrandt, who took out Takeya Mizugaki a month later at UFC 202 in just 48 seconds, never balked that he rightfully got the title shot ahead of Dillashaw.

And even now, he’s not convinced Dillashaw is the right choice to fight for the belt, given his former teammate’s inability to sell a pay-per-view.

“Like I said, I went for the title shot…it was a two man race,” he said. 
“Really it was just about getting paid, getting a contract, is why T.J. squeezed back in. You know, he was selling peanut butter, and anteing up $100,000 to bribe Cruz into a title shot. Dude, I don’t want to even speak on Dillashaw. He doesn’t even draw pay-per-view buys. It’s not even a fight that makes sense from that standpoint.

“But like I said, I got my eyes on Jose Aldo. I saw something that he wanted to fight me, so I’m ready to take down another legend. That’s why I got into this sport. I’m ready to build my legacy, and then to defend it. There’s going to be kids like me, that are teenagers, watching right now that want to whoop my ass. So I got to make sure that I keep improving and improving and doing my legacy. That’s why I jumped into the UFC and the fight game to do this, it’s to be the greatest. Lord willing, I’ll have longevity and have a lot of success.”

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