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Morning Report: T.J. Dillashaw: Cody Garbrandt is ‘not the smartest human being inside that cage’

UFC 217 Weigh-ins Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The rivalry between T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt left a lasting impression on the layout of the bantamweight and flyweight divisions.

Former teammates at Team Alpha Male, Dillashaw quickly became public enemy No. 1 for the entire gym after parting ways in 2016 to further train with Duane “Bang” Ludwig. However, it was Garbrandt who played the lead role as Dillashaw’s arch-nemesis during his second title saga.

Two successful wins over Raphael Assuncao and John Lineker secured Dillashaw a title shot after dropping the belt to Dominick Cruz earlier that same year. The champion by that point, Garbrandt had his first challenger set.

With a season of The Ultimate Fighter laid out before the fight, it gave the two plenty of time to let their bad blood boil over, which it certainly did. In the end, Dillashaw got the last laugh, dethroning Garbrandt via second-round TKO before putting him away again in their instant rematch — that time in the opening frame.

Dillashaw has since suffered a setback when challenging for flyweight gold and then testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. This past July, he returned from a two-year suspension to pick up a closely contested split decision win over Cory Sandhagen, seemingly positioning him as the next title challenger for the current champion, Aljamain Sterling. Meanwhile, Garbrandt has had a much tougher stretch results-wise, having lost three of his last four fights since facing Dillashaw.

“He’s a pretty freak athlete,” Dillashaw said on The Schaub Show when discussing Garbrandt’s recent results. “He’s fast. He’s the fastest guy I’ve ever sparred or fought, by far the most speed, but I’m not trying to be a complete a**hole, but he’s not the smartest human being inside that cage. To be able to stay on the top, you’ve got to change who you are and fight to fight to fight, he’s the exact same fighter. He’s a wrestler. He knows how to wrestle. Why not learn some jiu-jitsu and stop relying on your chin and hands because your chin is not there.

“So change up who you are as a fighter, and he’s just not willing to do that. He’s gonna keep his head in the same spot, his hands are gonna be low, and he’s gonna throw hard, fast hooks. So after everyone sees where his weaknesses are at, and his left hand is in his pocket as he throws the right hand, just keep your left hand high and smoke him with the right. I mean, game over. We’ve seen it like five fights in a row.”

Like Dillashaw, Garbrandt too has unsuccessfully tried his hand in the 125-pound weight class. Making his divisional debut in his last outing opposite Kai Kara-France at UFC 269 in Dec. 2021, “No Love” was on the receiving end of yet another first-round stoppage via strikes.

With the Kara-France bout not going his way, Garbrandt looks to have been one and done in the division as he’s set to return to 135 pounds when facing BJJ ace Rani Yahya at UFC Vegas 58 on July 9.

“The guy is dangerous too, but I think Garbrandt is too fast for that s***,” Dillashaw said of Yahya vs. Garbrandt. “Garbrandt’s hard to take down. He’s gonna be too fast, and Yahya’s standup is very pathetic. I mean, 40 fights and no finishes on your feet, but on the ground, he’s a ninja. I just don’t think he’ll get it there. I think Garbrandt is too fast for it.”


TOP STORIES

Transition. Aljamain Sterling says he’ll ‘probably have to move up’ a division with Merab Dvalishvili’s next win.

Story. Sliced eyeballs, torn aortas, and the art of a perfect flow: Inside the painful world of MMA’s greatest pad-holders.

Trouble. Paulo Costa questioned by police after allegedly assaulting nurse over vaccination card.

Rivals. T.J. Dillashaw fires back at ‘jealous’ Dominick Cruz over criticism of potential title shot.

Gold. Eric Albarracin: Henry Cejudo will become ‘C4’ this year.

Revenge. Claudia Gadelha challenges Joanna Jedrzejczyk to trilogy match in grappling.


VIDEO STEW

Andre Fialho | UFC Prospects to Watch.

Karine Silva Snatches a UFC Contract With Second-Round Submission Win | FREE FIGHT | DWCS Season 5.

RIZIN 36 Trailer.

BLOCK Party S1 EP5: Dana White, Laura Sanko, AJ Vaynerchuk.

Chuck’s favorite fighter.

Should a rematch with Gilbert Burns be next for Chimaev?

Will I Ever Fight Merab? | Aljamain Sterling’s Response to John McCarthy.


LISTEN UP

Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses whether or not Conor McGregor vs. Jorge Masvidal is the fight to make for the UFC.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Wholesome Henry.

Demo time.

Finally.

Oh, great…

Run, Georges, run!

Power.

Fast AF.

Dope.

Quality poster.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mizuki “Nisse” Oshiro (4-5) vs. Moeri Suda (5-3); RIZIN 36, July 2

Miyuu Yamamoto (6-6) vs. Saori Oshima (8-3); RIZIN 36, July 2

Hiroaki Suzuki (2-1) vs. Ren Hiramoto (0-2); RIZIN 36, July 2

Kai Asakura (19-4) vs. Ji Yong Yang (4-0); RIZIN 36, July 2

Shamil Abdurakhimov (20-7) vs. Jailton Almeida (16-2); UFC Fight Night, Sept. 10


FINAL THOUGHTS

It will always blow me away comparing posters between promotions and constantly being reminded just how little an effort the UFC puts into theirs these days. Sad stuff, man.

Welcome to June, gang! Thanks for reading!


EXIT POLL

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Can Cody Garbrandt return to title contention?

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884 votes total Vote Now

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