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Cody Garbrandt: T.J. Dillashaw is ‘the fakest person I ever met’

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UFC 207 Media Day
Cody Garbrandt has not softened his stance on T.J. Dillashaw.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

LAS VEGAS — Coaching opposite one another has not softened Cody Garbrandt’s opinion of T.J. Dillashaw. In fact, the UFC bantamweight champion seems to be more infuriated at Dillashaw than ever before.

Garbrandt and Dillashaw are currently here in Vegas coaching against one another during the filming of The Ultimate Fighter 25. The two are former training partners at Team Alpha Male and will meet with the 135-pound belt on the line in July.

Garbrandt (11-0) believes Dillashaw is trying to depict him and Dillashaw himself a certain way in the media and on TUF, the champ said Wednesday at the TUF 25 media day. “No Love” compared it to when Dominick Cruz tried to make Garbrandt seem like a young, irrational and emotional hot head.

“I take it as just me being real, just confronting problems,” Garbrandt said. “That’s what I think fake people don’t do. That’s T.J. He’s the fakest person I ever met. From the beginning.”

The two were never friends during their time together at Team Alpha Male, Garbrandt has maintained. He said he always got a “weird vibe” from Dillashaw.

“He’s trying to play the victim on the show,” Garbrandt said. “He’s trying to be the nice guy. I already know who T.J. is.”

When Dillashaw left Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Caif., for Elevation Fight Team in Colorado back in Denver, it drew a ton of scrutiny. Dillashaw ended up having a public rift with Alpha Male patriarch and MMA legend Urijah Faber. Many of Dillashaw is no longer so close with former friends and teammates like Justin Buchholz and Danny Castillo, who are now Team Alpha Male coaches.

Buccholz and Castillo are on Garbrandt’s TUF coaching staff and will more than likely be in his corner against Dillashaw, when they used to be in Dillashaw’s corner.

“He’s going in there and saying Danny Castillo and Justin Buccholz are his best friends,” Garbrandt said. “But where are they? They’re on my team. They’re with me. We won the world championship together.”

Garbrandt, 25, beat Dominick Cruz to win the bantamweight title at UFC 207 in December. Cruz won the belt from Dillashaw in January 2016. Garbrandt argues that Dillashaw was just the “interim” champion, because he never beat Cruz for the belt due to Cruz’s history of injuries. Garbrandt says now that he’s relishing the opportunity to fight Dillashaw in the Octagon, rather than just the sparring they used to do at Team Alpha Male’s gym.

“It’s a fight that I’ve wanted for so long, especially with the animosity and hatred towards T.J. for what he’s done and how he’s acted — not as a fighter, but as a man,” Garbrandt said.

A reporter asked Garbrandt on Wednesday if he felt like he needed a big performance against Dillashaw — perhaps a knockout — to cement himself as one of the UFC’s next big stars. The undefeated Garbrandt demurred, but he’s extra confident.

“I know I will knock out T.J. — 100 percent I’ll knock out T.J.,” he said. “I don’t have to go out there and get the knockout. I’m gonna go out there and perform. I’m gonna go out there and have fun. I’m just finally hitting my stride.”