Cody Garbrandt: The UFC Wants Me to Be the Champ, Not T.J. Dillashaw

By Matt McNulty Aug 2, 2018

UFC 227 is now available on Amazon Prime.

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight king Cody Garbrandt thinks the UFC wants him to recapture the 135-pound title from the man who took it from him back at UFC 217.

Garbrandt and current champion T.J. Dillashaw are running it back this Saturday at UFC 227, and “No Love” says it’s no coincidence that he’s receiving an immediate rematch despite losing by second round knockout the first time:

“The simple fact is, T.J. didn’t want this fight, [the UFC] had to basically tell him,” Garbrandt declared at Wednesday's open workouts. “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.”

“They want me to be the champ, that’s why they 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.’”

Dillashaw himself lost the bantamweight title during his first championship reign after losing a competitive decision to Cruz, himself a former divisional champ. Unlike Garbrandt, however, Dillashaw had to work his way back to a title shot, defeating Raphael Assuncao and John Lineker to earn another crack at the title.

During that time period, Cruz lost the belt to Garbrandt, thereby setting up a grudge match between the two former Team Alpha Male teammates and friends.

Dillashaw himself emphasized how he had to work his way back to a title shot after losing a competitive decision, while Garbrandt is getting an immediate rematch after being knocked out cold.

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