The bad blood that has UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt and Urijah Faber on one side while former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw is on the other. To say that when Garbrandt won the bantamweight title at UFC 207, it set up a rivalry fight for one of the hottest feuds in MMA of 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 this summer. 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 has rebooked the fight for UFC 217 this November, and with that fight only two months away, the feud is heating back up.
Garbrandt and Faber recently appeared on the most recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience. During the podcast, both men stating that Dillashaw is well known as a “dirty” fighter in sparring and that he would intentionally try to injure his teammates.
“T.J. was never the best teammate,” said Faber (transcript courtest of MMA Fighting. “He would try to hurt people. He’s a very competitive guy and he has a temper. Cheap shots at the bell, in boxing he’d knee you,” Garbrandt added. “Dirty s**t. Just dumb s**t.”
“There’s no secret about T.J.” continued Faber. “We talked about it when he was still on the team that he had to be reeled in a little bit. He’s got a temper. [That’s why we called him] Killashaw, Dillashank. It was his thing.”
According to the men, Dillashaw wasn’t just a hot head, but also dangerous and a liability to his sparring partners. To say that this is a strong statement would be an understatement. According to Garbrandt, Dillashaw is the one to blame for the long absence of Chris Holdsworth from active competition.
“The super-competitiveness – I’m competitive,” Garbrandt said. “I don’t want to lose. I’m fighting tooth and nail not to get taken down or win that round. It’s just [the dirty stuff] at the end of the bell, knees – that’s why Chris [Holdsworth] is out. He kneed him in the back of the head. Concussions. That’s the truth.
“It was him and T.J. going. I remember distinctively, Duane [Ludwig, former TAM striking coach and current Dillashaw coach] used to come up to Chris and be like ‘Hey, Grasshopper, T.J.’s fighting, can you take it easy on him?’ Chris is a killer, dude. Chris is f**king him up. Everybody [else too]. Chris is an animal. And I guess Chris choked him out and T.J. got up and f**king kneed him in the back of the head when he was down. “It happened twice in practice like that,” Faber added.
Make no mistake about it, even with their beef, Garbrandt still has a great deal of respect for Dillashaw as a fighter.
“I don’t respect him as a person but it doesn’t mean I don’t respect him as a fighter. The guy is skillful, he’s mean as f**k, and he’s gonna bring a fight that’s gonna be what I love. I love a challenge and with T.J., I know him like the back of my hand. . .
“He’s a bad motherf**ker. He was ranked in the pound-for-pound top-ten before. He’s a killer. I’m gonna catapult my career with him.”