It is the stuff of soap operas.
TJ Dillashaw was the UFC bantamweight champ, lost the belt to Dominick Cruz, and had to toil among the plebs for nearly two years before he got another title shot.
Cody Garbrandt beat Cruz handily to earn the belt, but injuries kept him in stasis for nearly a year – much to the chagrin of Dillashaw, who wanted what Garbrandt had.
The UFC obliged the duo by pitting them against each other as opposing coaches on TUF 25. And then they fought… and Dillashaw knocked Garbrandt out.
But wait! There’s more to this story!
When UFC 222’s main event fell apart due to injuries, Garbrandt took to social media to goad Dillashaw into a rematch. Dillashaw wasn’t having it, though, so here we are now, with Dillashaw appearing on “The MMA Hour” to talk about how much he loves and adores Garbrandt (spoiler alert: He loves Garbrandt ZERO).
“It’s about this being a legitimate sport and doing it the right way,” Dillashaw said. “Tell me one other champion who never defended his belt and got an immediate rematch. He never once ever defended his belt — it wasn’t like he was a long-reigning champion or that he got robbed or whatever. There’s never ever been another champion that’s done it, so why are we making this precedent for Cody to get a rematch when he’s never defended his belt and then got knocked out? Like, how does that make sense whatsoever? So really, all I’ve got to do is state the facts.
“This is a sport. Get back in line. It took me two years to get a title shot off a split-decision loss to Dominick Cruz that the UFC told me they thought I won. It took me two years to get back to that case. Like, I worked my way back. I beat two No. 1 contenders to get there. It’s a sport, you’ve got to push hard and you’ve got to get after it. You can’t complain, you can’t be a sore loser and all this shoulda, coulda, woulda stuff.
“So it’s a little frustrating, but easy to put behind you. Let him continue to talk, be myself, and the more he talks, the dumber he looks, and more people will continue to realize it.”