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Morning Report: T.J. Dillashaw questions the legitimacy of Cody Garbrandt’s back injury

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

At the beginning of this year, the UFC announced that bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt would be defending his belt against former champion and training partner T.J. Dillashaw. It was to be a good, old-fashioned grudge match and the UFC built its most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter around the beef between the coaches, leading up to their title fight at UFC 213 this summer.

But the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry and yet again the UFC’s decision to delay a title fight for filming a reality television show resulted in a waste when Garbrandt was forced to withdraw from the bout last month due to a back injury. It was bad news for Dillashaw who is now left waiting for Garbrandt to heal up to get his shot at regaining his old belt. But from the sound of it, Dillashaw doesn’t just think the withdrawal was just bad luck.

“Trust me, I want the Cody fight as well but he’s injured, I guess you can say,” Dillashaw told the Fight Society podcast recently.

The former bantamweight champ explained that though Garbrandt says he’s injured, some of his outside the cage antics suggest he might not be as hurt as he’s claiming.

“It’s just the fact that I’ve seen him drunk and wrestling around with his buddies while his back is supposedly hurt doing rehab. There’s some posts that I got tagged in or got sent to me when I woke up one morning, of him getting all drunk with his buddies and him getting into a full blown wrestling match on the ground with Danny Castillo. It’s kind of crazy.

“If it was hurting you to walk, and you couldn’t take the title fight, then you should probably be doing some rehab.”

Dillashaw is referring to a video taken of Garbrandt and his training partner Danny Castillo engaging in some friendly wrestling while seemingly intoxicated that showed up on the internet a couple of weeks ago.

But back injury or not, Garbrandt is still out of action for the time being, leaving Dillashaw chasing a flyweight title shot against Demetrious Johnson despite Johnson’s insistence against it.

Johnson has said repeatedly that he wishes to face the next legitimate 125 pound contender Ray Borg and that Dillashaw, who has never competed at flyweight, would be jumping the line without even knowing if he can make the weight limit. But Dillashaw views Johnson’s determination not to fight him in the same light as Garbrandt’s back injury: as disingenuous, self-interested actions meant to protect themselves from him.

“He does not want to fight me because he’s scared to lose the belt. I respect Demetrious Johnson as a person. I like him, I like his wife. But by him acting this way and turning down the fight, he’s really tarnishing his career and reputation in my eyes.”


Winning. Bellator added Mike Goldberg and Mauro Ranallo to their commentary team.

401K. The ABC launched a charitable fund to benefit retired combat athletes.

Assault. Wanderlei Silva says he skipped the Bellator press conference to avoid assaulting Chael Sonnen.

NYSAC. Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva to be drug tested before Bellator NYC.

Injury. Jose Aldo’s coach explained that Aldo suffered a leg injury before UFC 212.


Bellator’s conference call.

What an absolutely savage KO this was.


An interview with the GOAT.


Believe You Me. Bisping doing Bisping things.

UFcC Unfiltered. UFC Fight Night Auckland recap with Jamie Crowder.


Condolences to the whole family.

Pure class.

Congrats fellas.

In case you were worried.

MMA. Just defend your belt for once in your life.

Still going in.






2014: Demetrious Johnson successfully defended his flyweight title, winning a unanimous decision over Ali Bagautinov at UFC 174.


Another day I wish we had polls still. I’m pretty confident everyone would agree that Bellator signing Mauro is excellent, but I’m curious as to where the fan base stands on signing Goldie. I think we all expected it to happen but honestly, how much is his value added to Bellator? Probably a lot more than I think but it just seems odd to me. Regardless, congrats to both men on the new gigs.

Anyway, that’s it for today. Take it easy y’all and Conor bless.

If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy it.

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