This past weekend Tj Dillashaw recaptured the bantamweight title at UFC 217 after thrashing his former teammate Cody Garbrandt in the second-round knockout.
The dispute between Team Alpha Male and Dillashaw runs a mile deep at this point, stemming back to Tj Dillashaw’s first title reign and his decision to part ways with the camp.
Dillashaw got into early danger at the end of round one from Cody, where Dillashaw got wobbly. Dillashaw locked onto a single-leg takedown attempt and avoided further damage until the horn ring.
Dillashaw speaking on Monday at The MMA Hour episode:
“I walked back to the corner, and I heard their cornermen being jerks, just like they’ve been the whole camp, saying they’ve got my number,” “‘We’ve got your f’ing number, Dillashaw! We’ve got your f’ing number!’ I heard that. As soon as I heard that, I turned back to my corner and was like, ‘Alright, let’s get our sh*t together.’
“I kinda hit my hands together, and I was like, ‘Alright, I’ve gotta change it up.’ So I sat down in the corner and just listened to (coach) Duane (Ludwig). He’s the one looking from the outside in. That’s why he’s in my corner, he’s got great eyes, and we changed up the tempo. We decided to come out for the second round a different fighter.”
The bad blood brewing between Dillashaw and Team Alpha Male isn’t new to anyone. But it was the latest episode of trash talk from the Team Alpha Male camp that seems to have cost them more.
“I could hear them talking sh*t the whole time, actually,” Dillashaw said. “Stuff like when I’d a leg kick or something, like, ‘You’re too slow! T.J., you’re too slow! All you’ve got is a right hook!’ All of this stuff, just trying just to continue, just continue to break me, you know?”
All the hatred didn’t stop even until the fight was over. The only person approached him post fight was his former coaches and teammates at Team Alpha Male at backstage.
“In the back, the one guy who was willing to come up to me and shake my hand was (TAM coach) Justin Buchholtz,” Dillashaw said. “All of the other guys still seemed pretty bitter. They put a lot on this. They put their whole legacy of Team Alpha Male behind Cody. They put a lot of pressure on that guy to live up to what they wanted him to be, and I didn’t feel like that was really fair to him either. But they put all of their eggs into Cody, and I smashed them. I smashed their dreams. I smashed who they were, and they’re all bitter about it.”
Despite all the bitterness, both Cody and Dillashaw embrace each other and shake hands. In post-fight conference, Cody spit fire calling Dillashaw piece of shit and insisting I am still the better fighter at there.
Regardless of all the trash talk, he held the belt, Dillashaw said, the beef between them got more severe post-fight.
“I’m not one who looks for the drama,” Dillashaw said. “I’m not one who wants to hate on anybody. I didn’t leave because I hated anybody. I didn’t want all of this bullcrap. So yeah, I was hoping it would get squashed a little more than it was, and they’d be a little more mature about this whole thing and be professionals. I was hoping it was more about him hyping it up, but I guess that’s how he feels, so whatever, man. I’m not too worried about it. He’s going to have to fight. We have a very tough weight division.
“He will be around, but he’s going to have to have some tough fights to even get back to me, so who knows if I showed his weakness. You know, I don’t think he actually has a chin. Even Cruz hit him a couple of times and wobbled him, and Cruz is no power puncher. So I think if people aren’t that scared, he drops his hands — always dropping his hands, they’re real low. That’s why I caught him with a head kick. Every time he throws a punch, he drops his opposite hand. He gets away with being fast and having power, so I think he’s got a long road ahead of him.”
Do you guys think we will see them in a rematch?