Cody Garbrandt is ready to get his hands on TJ Dillashaw.
The former Team Alpha Male teammates will meet inside the Octagon for the bantamweight title after the conclusion of their stints as coaches in The Ultimate Fighter 25 (TUF 25). Dillashaw has since departed from Alpha Male in favor of longtime coach and friend Duane Ludwig in Colorado, driving a huge divide between the former 135-pound champ and his former teammates.
Garbrandt is coming off of the biggest win of his career, in which he dismantled longtime bantamweight great Dominick Cruz in their co-main event meeting at UFC 207 this past December, winning his first career UFC title. Now he will make his first title defense against Dillashaw, in hopes of repaying his former teammate for betraying the Alpha Male family.
Recently at a TUF 25 media day (quotes via MMA Fighting) Garbrandt insinuated that Dillashaw is attempting to paint himself as the victim in the whole situation:
“I take it as just me being real, just confronting problems,” Garbrandt said. “That’s what I think fake people don’t do. That’s T.J. He’s the fakest person I ever met. From the beginning.
“He’s trying to play the victim on the show,” Garbrandt said. “He’s trying to be the nice guy. I already know who T.J. is.”
When Dillashaw departed from Team Alpha Male he left behind a few good friends, and those friends include Justin Buchholz and Danny Castillo who now coach opposite him for team Garbrandt. Those two men will now be cornering Garbrandt against Dillashaw when they meet for the title:
“He’s going in there and saying Danny Castillo and Justin Buccholz are his best friends,” Garbrandt said. “But where are they? They’re on my team. They’re with me. We won the world championship together.”
Garbrandt is confident in his ability to go in and finish Dillashaw upon their Octagon meeting, and believe he’s only hitting his stride as champion at just 25-years-old:
“It’s a fight that I’ve wanted for so long, especially with the animosity and hatred towards T.J. for what he’s done and how he’s acted — not as a fighter, but as a man,” Garbrandt said.
“I know I will knock out T.J. — 100 percent I’ll knock out T.J.,” he said. “I don’t have to go out there and get the knockout. I’m gonna go out there and perform. I’m gonna go out there and have fun. I’m just finally hitting my stride.”