One former Team Alpha Male coach says Cody Garbrandt didn’t have proper training for UFC 227.
“No Love” suffered a first-round technical knockout loss to TJ Dillashaw in the UFC 227 main event over the weekend. It was a losing effort for Garbrandt in attempt to reclaim the UFC’s 135-pound throne.
Garbrandt emerged as a star for the UFC when he ended Dominick Cruz’s 13 fight win streak, which lasted nearly a decade, back in 2016. He failed to defend his title against Dillashaw almost a year later at UFC 217. Now, this past weekend in California, Garbrandt suffered another knockout defeat to his former Alpha Male Teammate.
Former Team Alpha Male coach Justin Buchholz recently joined the Slip ‘n Dip podcast and offered his assessment of Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt last weekend.
Buchholz claimed he doesn’t think that Garbrandt received the same level of training that he did when he took the title from Cruz in 2016 (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“I feel like Cody…to reach the level that he was when he won the belt…he was the best martial artist on the planet then because of the amount of training and work he did and it showed in his performance,” said Buchholz.
“I feel like he hasn’t been able to reach that level again. I feel like he has all the talent. T.J. doesn’t have his number at all, but with proper training it’s anyone’s game.”
Buchholz also suggested that a conditioning issue could have also played into Garbrandt’s losing effort in California:
“T.J. was saying that Cody drops his left hand when he throws his right hand, that’s the shot he caught him with. Well, it was the same hand, but it was a completely different punch. In the first fight, T.J. landed the right hook from southpaw,” he explained.
“In the fight last night, he just hit him with a right hand. He just rolled with the right and came back with the right, he did a lot of boxing for this fight and he was prepared for that inside fight range, he knew when Cody was throwing hard he would be exposed and he was right, it was pretty masterful game plan.
“I feel like Cody Garbrandt properly conditioned is…because the hands down are something he got away with for a long time because of his speed and his reflexes. I feel like that’s based a lot on conditioning as well. To be able to know where you’re heads at and to be able to have reflexes the more tired you get. I think the defensive thing is a technical issue for sure, but it’s also a training issue; a cardio issue.”
In regards to who is the greatest bantamweight in UFC history, Dillashaw has a legitimate claim to the throne. However, he still has an unavenged loss on his record to Dominick Cruz. Buchholz believes Dillashaw and Cruz must rematch to determine who the true 135-pound great is:
“[Dillashaw] has a good claim of being the greatest 135er to ever do it, but that’s still held by Dominick Cruz. If he has that rematch with Dominick Cruz, the winner of that is the best.”