Cody Garbrandt was recently forced out of his Bantamweight title fight against former training partner-turned rival, T.J. Dillashaw — which was set to co-headline UFC 213 on July 9, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada — because of a back injury.
The injury dates back a few years for “No Love,” who says the issue has been nagging him throughout his mixed martial arts (MMA) career. After undergoing stem cell treatment in Germany at the request (and expense) of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Garbrandt admits it helped a bit with the pain, but he’s not healed enough to fight in the near future.
“I was just thinking about the quickest route I could still fight. I’ve never pulled out of a fight, never had to pull out of a fight, never had a serious injury like this,” said Garbrandt during a recent appearance on “The MMA Hour.”
At the end of the day, though, Garbrandt didn’t want to rush back and further injure his back to the point that it would affect his long-term health.
“At my age, I’m 25 years old, so I am thinking about longevity ... and not just right now. So I have to take a little bit of time to heal and recover for something that’s going to set me up for the next five, 10 years — however long I want to pursue this career and lifestyle.
“That’s what I was looking at, so I have too sit back and think about the future outside of fighting because this is really a small window frame of my life,” he continued. “It’s only going to be a small part, but it is going to set up the rest of my life. So I have to be smart and think about my future. I’m not going to rush this one. I am doing rehab six days a week, strength and conditioning. I’m strengthening my body. It’s unfortunate this happened as I was very excited for the fight against T.J.”
To hear Garbrandt tell it, he could’ve very well given Dillashaw a “60-percent ass-whooping,” but would prefer to be at full health to give him the complete beating he deserves.
“I don’t want to prolong that fight, I want to give him an ass-whooping and I’ve wanted to the whole time I was around him for various reasons,” said Cody, who coached opposite Dillashaw on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): “Redemption” on Fox Sports 1.
“The last thing I want to do is prolong the fight because of an injury. T.J has an ass-whooping (coming) and I want to be 100-percent to give T.J. a 100-percent ass-whooping. I won’t be satisfied going in 60-percent and still whooping his ass. I don’t want to give him a 60-percent ass-whooping, I want to give him a 100-percent ass-whooping like he deserves,” he concluded.
Furthermore, Garbrandt says once he gets through Dillashaw, he intends to go after Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. To that end, “No Love” finds it hilarious that Dillashaw now wants to fight “Mighty Mouse” as well, dubbing “The Viper” a “generic of everything,” as he simply wants to copy everyone else just like he did Dominick Cruz’s fighting style.
And should it come to pass that Dillashaw gets a title fight against Johnson and manages to defeat him, Garbrandt is already planning on dropping down to 125 pounds to take the belt away from him. As for a timetable for his return, Garbrandt reveals that is unclear at the moment, but in a perfect world, he would love to return at UFC 214 in Anaheim, Calif., on July 29, 2017; however, he admits it’s a tall task.