Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw already knew each other pretty well, as the two spent plenty of time training under the Team Alpha Male banner in Sacramento, Calif., before T.J. bolted to Colorado to join Elevation Fight Team.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
But, since the two men served as coaches for the new season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) reality television show dubbed “Redemption,” they got to know each other a bit more, as things got very heated on the show. That said, Dillashaw didn’t let the opportunity to see the 135-pound champ daily in the gym pass him by without picking up some new pointers.
“You definitely learn some new things about his character and who he is,” Dillashaw told UFC.com. “In my mind, he’s not a very good person — he’s about himself and very selfish, and that also comes across in training. I saw a lot of new things that I’m going to be able to use to my advantage in this training camp and in our fight.
“I don’t feel like he shows anybody any respect,” he continued. “He’s got a chip on his shoulder and I can’t wait to make him pay for it.”
For Dillashaw -- the former UFC Bantamweight champion — defeating Garbrandt at their upcoming title fight, which is set to go down on UFC 213 on July 9, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a chance to get revenge on his former teammates he feels betrayed him.
“I think the redemption theme for me is redemption against my old team (Team Alpha Male), the guys that have kind of burned me, the guys that stabbed me in the back a little bit,” he said. “My redemption is proving them all wrong, showing that I did make the right choice in my life and telling my story.
"Everything’s been in the public eye so much about me moving and following (coach) Duane (Ludwig) out to Colorado,” Dillashaw continued. “But, I don’t feel like the true story has ever been told.”
Indeed, the well-publicized feud between Dillashaw and his former camp will come to a head when he faces the team's biggest star. In the process, he hopes to reclaim the 135-pound title he lost to Dominick Cruz last year.
TUF: “Redemption” premieres tonight (Weds., April 19, 2017) at 10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.