New year, new rivalry.
Though Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw began chirping at one another somewhat in 2016, the former training partners at Team Alpha Male (TAM) are starting to get real personal in the new year.
After "No Love" dethroned Dominick Cruz from the top of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight mountain at UFC 207 on Dec. 30, 2016 (see it), Dillashaw began lobbying for his shot at reclaiming the strap against his former stablemate.
Garbrandt, though, wasn’t having it, saying he’d prefer to give "The Dominator" a rematch, though Dana White vetoed. That said, Cody says he wouldn’t mind putting hands on Dillashaw after he sold out on him and TAM, telling UFC in Filtered (via MMA Fighting) that the squad is better off without him since he was nothing but a cancer to the team
And he also recalls a time when "No Love" knocked him out early in his career during a sparring session.
"I don’t mind whoopin’ T.J.’s ass," Garbrandt said. "He was a cancer to our team and having what he tried to do - destroy it - to make that s**t personal too. I’ll spare everybody 60 bucks to buy the pay-per-view and put out the video of me knocking his ass out when I was 1-0. 1-0. He wasn’t saying that he made me cry in practice. That motherf**ker never made me cry. I wasn’t the one looking at the ceiling, being on my back looking at the ceiling, knocked out. So he’s just trying to do anything - the guy’s a horrible trash talker. Horrible."
What happens in the gym doesn’t always stay in the gym.
Dillashaw earned championship gold while training at TAM, however, as Cody sees it, he was never the true champion, as Cruz never officially lost the belt to him.
"I would get satisfaction from whoopin’ his ass, that’s for sure," said Garbrandt. "Just for what he did to the team. He sold out. He’s a sellout. He sold his friends, everybody that got him there. He forgot who got him to where he was at. Saw a little bit of money and f**kin’ ran. Ran away. But there was me always there, the uncrowned champ. I was the uncrowned champ when he was there. He never even won the title because truly, Cruz never lost it. So T.J. really was never a world champion. They use that ‘former world champion,’ Cruz was the world champion, never lost his belt, and I’m the one that went out there and ripped it from him."
Indeed, when Dominick returned from a string of setbacks, he went on to reclaim his title by outscoring Dillashaw narrowly in early 2016.
As for a potential title fight between Garbrandt and Dillashaw, "No Love" is all for it, he just has to sit down with UFC matchmakers to see what’s next. And if this guy answers the call, Dillashaw could be left out in the cold.