Things almost got out of control between former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt and Hollywood martial arts star Jean-Claude Van Damme at the Team Alpha Male (TAM) headquarters last year.
After sweating on everyone and weirding the team out with some strange stretches, the action star got in the training cage with Garbrandt to do some kicks, which is where things went south. Van Damme got into a light sparring session with Garbrandt and accidentally kicked him in the face.
Van Damme started crying and apologizing after he landed the kick and even a segment where Garbrandt felt the need to confirm he would “rip Van Damme’s f****** head off” if they really fought.
Garbrandt, lost the bantamweight title to ex-teammate turned rival T.J. Dillashaw at last year’s UFC 217 pay-per-view, losing via second-round KO was speaking to Ariel Helwani during a recent edition of The MMA Hour; where he was opening up in great detail about head kick from Van Damme.
“He just can’t control himself. He got too excited in there. He was running all over the place like he was on shit.
“What is Jean Claude gonna show me? I respect the guy. But he’s two hours late, he had to warm up. I was annoyed by the whole thing.
“It was just a circus act, to be honest,” Garbrandt said. “I looked over at this buddy and his manager. I was like, you gotta get this guy out of my face.”
“It looked like I punched him and dropped him,” Garbrandt said. “People didn’t know he kicked me. I was just annoyed with the guy and I’m like, ‘all right, I’m done with this fool’ and walked out of the cage.
“He’s an old guy,” Garbrandt said. “What am I gonna do? Pummel him? It’s a lose-lose. We’re cool. I went to his premiere. It is what it is. He’s just a sensitive Hollywood guy.”
Cody Garbrandt said the bizarre scene only got even weirder when Van Damme dropped to his knees to apologize, said there are no hard feelings, so he eventually went to his movie premiere for the latest “Kickboxer.”