Cody Garbrandt on why the UFC gave him TJ Dillashaw rematch

UFC 217: Garbrandt v Dillashaw

The bad blood between TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt continues.

Dillashaw got a lot of flack for leaving Team Alpha Male in 2015, which is owned by Urijah Faber, for a more lucrative contract to train at Team Elevation in Colorado.

For fighters, the gym fees to train at that said gym can be costly. For a UFC champion one would think it would not be, but in fact, it is.

Some think that he made the smart and business savvy decision while some disagree with that theory and think he should have stayed at the gym that transformed him into a champion.

When Garbrandt won the bantamweight title at UFC 207, it set up a rivalry fight for one of the hottest feuds in MMA over the past couple of years. The two fighters had been jawing at each other publicly since Dillashaw left Alpha Male.

They both coached the 25th season of The Ultimate Fighter in order to build interest in their title fight at UFC 213 in 2016.

However, that bout never took place due to the fact that an injury forced Garbrandt out of the bout.

After waiting a little bit, the UFC rebooked the fight for UFC 217 where Dillashaw finished Garbrandt to win back the bantamweight title.

Now, the promotion has booked the rematch between these two fighters for the upcoming UFC 227 event.

“The simple fact is, T.J. didn’t want this fight, [the UFC] had to basically tell him,” Garbrandt said at the open workouts yesterday (transcript courtesy of MMA Fighting). “He wanted to go down and fight Mighty Mouse. Even if he didn’t want to fight me, you didn’t see him wanting to fight Dominick [Cruz]. Dom has a win against him. He wants the easiest style match-up. He didn’t want to fight me – lord knows he doesn’t want to fight me, he knows what I bring to the table – Dominick’s already in his head with a win over him so he says, ‘I’m gonna go after Mighty Mouse.’ For what? Mighty Mouse is 125 pounds.”

“That’s the thing, that was my whole idea,” Garbrandt said. “I ended up hitting up Sean Shelby and Dana White, saying I’m gonna knock T.J. out and then go down and fight Mighty Mouse. That was my original thought. T.J. stole that from me, stole everything from me. If the UFC wanted that fight to prosper, they would have made that fight happen. They don’t want that to happen. They already moved on. They want me to be the champ, that’s why the gave me the rematch. They called me and offered me the fight in March, T.J. turned it down and made all these excuses and I had to wait all the way until August to fight him. I was ready to go way before that. I told my manager, ‘I’m ready to fight. I don’t want to have my return postponed.’”

“New blood, it’s fine,” Garbrandt said. “I’m glad these guys are going out there and putting on performances but who are they really fighting? I’d rather fight a guy that’s stapled himself as pound-for-pound, Demetrious Johnson. I think that’s the next fight to be made after I demolish T.J. on Saturday.”

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