This past weekend, Gilbert Burns came up short in his welterweight title bid against former training partner Kamaru Usman, losing by third-round knockout at UFC 258. It could have been different for Burns though. In the opening round, “Durinho” hurt Usman with a series of overhand rights but was unable to finish the champion. After the bout, Burns said he go over-aggressive and went “Cody Garbradt crazy” in pursuing the knockout, a reference to Garbrandt’s pair of fights with his own teammate turned rival, T.J. Dillashaw. And coincidentally, Garbrandt himself talked about that very same thing before UFC 258.
“Definitely and that’s not me,” Garbrandt told Joe Rogan when asked about being more emotionally invested than he ever had before. “So for me to go in there and have that, just an example of (makes an angry face). I don’t need to do that.
“It was great, I was a world champion, I feel like I needed to defend it, a lot of other stuff, the backstory of it, the injury coming off a year. I was just so not mentally ready to go in there and fight that I physically overcompensated for it.”
Garbrandt’s and Dillashaw first fought in 2017. It was Garbrandt’s first defense of his bantamweight title and after hurting Dillashaw in the first round, Garbrandt then got over-aggressive and was knocked out in the second. The two rematched nine months later and Garbrandt was again knocked out, this time in the first round and in similar fashion. Reflecting on the losses, Garbrandt now sees the many mistakes he took with him into those fights, not in physical preparation but mentally, and says that those losses may have been a blessing in disguise.
“I feel like T.J. caught me at a time where mentally I was not in the best state of mind to go in there and be a champion and that’s why it was taken from me,” Garbrandt said. “He capitalized and I look back on it, I kept going back to those fights, and it’s a little bit of insanity. You have to be insane to repeat the same thing expecting a different outcome and that’s what I was doing... Looking back, hindsight is 2020 always in a fight, but I’m thankful for that. I feel like if I would have went off and defended the title, I probably wouldn’t have been as hungry and motivated as I am today and that’s going to help me out for the next five years of my career or however long I’m going to fight for.”
Following his second loss to Dillashaw, Garbrandt dropped another fight, a KO to Pedro Munhoz in similar fashion to the Dillashaw losses, before he was finally able to right the ship with a KO of the Year contender over Raphael Assunção in 2020. With the impressive victory, Garbrandt is now once again a going concern at both bantamweight and flyweight and he credits a change in mentality for coming back from the brink.
“Staying enthusiastic, I think that’s the main thing,” Garbrandt said. “I wasn’t enthusiastic. I felt like I was just going through the motions. There’s a lot of other things, a lot things can transpire but I’m solely putting blame on myself because that’s all I can control. What I do, how I react to things, and I wasn’t the person that I am during those kinds of tribulations in my life. I’ve grown from that. I was 24-25 years old. I’m 29 years old now. I look at the game differently.”
Garbrandt isn’t the only former bantamweight champion to face tribulations over the last couple of years. After knocking out Garbrandt for the second time, Dillashaw dropped down to 125 pounds to pursue a second world title. Instead, those dreams turned to ash as he was knocked out in 32 seconds by Henry Cejudo and then failed a drug test for EPO, vacated his bantamweight title, and was suspended for two years. Dillashaw officially became eligible to compete again as of January and though Garbrandt says he’s put away any hard feelings towards his former teammate, he does believe that the two will meet again in the future, and he’ll have a chance to show the world, and Dillashaw, his real self.
“It’s not to say I didn’t like T.J. I don’t agree with a lot of the things that happened but that’s so far in the past, I’m passed that,” Garbrandt said. “But definitely, taking that in there, my mental state was not what it should have been to go against a guy like T.J. We can fast forward to when he got popped and this and that, T.J. can be on that stuff. He can be on that stuff and he still can’t beat me when I’m focused and I’m mentally there and I’m in there and I’m excited. I’m glad that he’s coming back. He’s got to prove to himself and that’s a big fight for me to come back to in the future. That’s gonna happen.”
Champion. Kamaru Usman survives early scare, finishes Gilbert Burns with barrage of punches in UFC 258 main event.
UFC 258 Post Fight Press Conference.
UFC 258 Post Show.
UFC 259 Promo.
Fighters predict this weekend’s main event.
Usman calling for Masvidal rematch.
On to the Next One. Matchmaking following UFC 258.
Jack Slack. Breaking down what happened at UFC 258.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
We’re going on a journey with this one.
Lethal toe stomps.
I’d watch it.
My leg was a balloon— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) February 14, 2021
Head held high! I’m living my dream with this I’ve been given. Are you ?— Brian BOOM Kelleher (@brianboom135) February 14, 2021
JDS is not moving on.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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