When Cody Garbrandt won the bantamweight title at UFC 207, it set up a rivalry fight for one of the hottest feuds in MMA of the past couple of years: former bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw vs. his former training partners at Team Alpha Male. The two had been jawing at each other publicly since Dillashaw left Alpha Male and the UFC looked to draft off that natural dislike by building season 25 of The Ultimate Fighter around their feud.
The reality show was intended to build interest in their title fight at UFC 213 this summer but an injury forced Garbrandt out of the bout, and since then, their feud cooled why Dillashaw fruitlessly chased a title shot against flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson. Now though, Garbrandt and Dillashaw have been rebooked for UFC 217 this November, and with that fight only two months away, the feud is resurfacing as promotion gears up again, and Garbrandt is picking up right where he left off.
On the most recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, Garbrandt and Team Alpha Male owner/UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber spoke about training with Dillashaw in the past, with both men stating that Dillashaw is well known as a “dirty” fighter in sparring and that he would intentionally try to injure his teammates.
“T.J. was never the best teammate,” said Faber. “He would try to hurt people. He’s a very competitive guy and he has a temper.”
“Cheap shots at the bell, in boxing he’d knee you,” Garbrandt added. “Dirty s**t. Just dumb s**t.”
“There’s no secret about T.J.” continued Faber. “We talked about it when he was still on the team that he had to be reeled in a little bit. He’s got a temper. [That’s why we called him] Killashaw, Dillashank. It was his thing.”
But the way Garbrandt and Faber tell it, Dillashaw wasn’t just a hot head, he was also dangerous and a liability to his sparring partners. Garbrandt says Dillashaw is the one to blame for the long absence of Chris Holdsworth from active competition.
“The super-competitiveness - I’m competitive,” Garbrandt said. “I don’t want to lose. I’m fighting tooth and nail not to get taken down or win that round. It’s just [the dirty stuff] at the end of the bell, knees - that’s why Chris [Holdsworth] is out. He kneed him in the back of the head. Concussions. That’s the truth.
“It was him and T.J. going. I remember distinctively, Duane [Ludwig, former TAM striking coach and current Dillashaw coach] used to come up to Chris and be like ‘Hey, Grasshopper, T.J.’s fighting, can you take it easy on him?’ Chris is a killer, dude. Chris is f**king him up. Everybody [else too]. Chris is an animal. And I guess Chris choked him out and T.J. got up and f**king kneed him in the back of the head when he was down.
“It happened twice in practice like that,” Faber added.
Holdsworth is an undefeated prospect with a black belt in BJJ but he has not fought since May of 2014 due to lingering concussion-related issues. Garbrandt has previously made mention of this alleged incident, with Holdsworth refuting that his career is over.
Meanwhile, Dillashaw won the bantamweight title UFC 173 after flourishing under the tutelage of Ludwig. After Ludwig had a public falling out with Faber, he left to start his own gym and Dillashaw began splitting time between the two. Eventually, the rift led to Dillashaw leaving TAM, though the circumstances surrounding his exit are hotly debated by both parties.
What isn’t debated though is the quality of competitor Dillashaw is. Despite their beef, Garbrandt clearly still has a great deal of respect for Dillashaw as a fighter.
“I don’t respect him as a person but it doesn’t mean I don’t respect him as a fighter. The guy is skillful, he’s mean as f**k, and he’s gonna bring a fight that’s gonna be what I love. I love a challenge and with T.J., I know him like the back of my hand. . .
“He’s a bad motherf**ker. He was ranked in the pound-for-pound top 10 before. He’s a killer. I’m gonna catapult my career with him.”
Garbrandt and Dillashaw will face each other at UFC 217 on November 4th in Madison Square Garden.
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Nate’s big statement.
Arguably the best MMA tweet of all time.
Left Hanging (UFC Edition) pic.twitter.com/0kJxLmR0As— Peter Pantheon Level (@FullContactMTWF) September 5, 2017
If C.M. Punk is getting another shot, MJ is as good a choice as anyone. . . unless you really want to get BJ a win to retire on.
First fight poster for 217.
DJ apparently wants to chance his fight name to Demetrious “Mighty” Johnson.
I wanna believe it doesn't say "Mighty Mouse" because of copyright issues but Reebok will Reebok pic.twitter.com/KzYFw7zI9G— Zombie Prophet (@ZPGIFs) September 5, 2017
These things are still so damn boring. Get the guys who make Oregon’s football uniforms or something.
It is what it is.
Chandler is still not happy about the lack of a rematch.
Still out here plugging away.
It's hard to see a poser with my strap. Especially when I'm told to let him strut. It's a matter of time til his dreams turn to nightmares. https://t.co/ZGjEhFdL8D— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) September 5, 2017
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2014: At Invicta FC 8, Michelle Waterson stopped Yasuko Tamada to retain her Invicta atomweight title. In the co-main event, Katja KanKaanpaa submitted Stephanie Eggink with a fifth round D’arce choke to win the vacant strawweight title.
Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.
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