Buckle up for this one, because the back-and-former between Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw is almost certainly about to get crazy.
Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC), the current UFC bantamweight champion, and Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC), the former titleholder, used to be teammates and training partners at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif. Dillashaw made a dramatic and well-publicized split from the team in October 2015, though, and the tension and resentment for that decision has still yet to fizzle.
The flame of tension is in the process of and could soon turn into an uncontrollable blaze because after Garbrandt’s title-winning victory over Dominick Cruz at UFC 207 this past month and Dillashaw’s dominant victory over John Lineker on the same card, the two former confidants appear to be on a collision course with the title on the line.
Although the days following Garbrandt’s stellar win over Cruz were filled with him mentioning the possibility of a rematch or fights with featherweight champ Jose Aldo or lightweight champ Conor McGregor, “No Love” today circled back around to Dillashaw, who recently claimed to MMAFighting.com that the current champion has no desire to fight him.
Garbrandt, 25, took exception to those comments and went after Dillashaw, parroting a now-famous line used on Dillashaw by McGregor during filming of Season 22 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series.
From Dillashaw’s perspective, he did absolutely nothing wrong when it came to his exit from Team Alpha Male. He’s claimed to have handled the situation with as much grace as possible before joining Team Elevation in Colorado alongside striking coach Duane Ludwig, but it was team founder Urijah Faber who turned the story to portray Dillashaw as the bad guy.
The real truth on the matter depends on which side is telling the story, but Garbrandt, No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, made it clear he sides with Faber, McGregor or anyone else who felt No. 3-ranked Dillashaw parted ways with Team Alpha Male unceremoniously.
Garbrandt and Dillashaw appear to be gearing up for a big fight and the bad blood that comes along with it. Now it remains to be seen if the UFC books what seems to be a no-brainer of a 135-pound title fight.
For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.