The 27-year old fighter Cody Garbrandt absorbed a humiliating knockout defeat in his first meeting with TJ Dillashaw. Ten months after, he is set to exact revenge against his tormentor on their rematch at UFC 227 this weekend.
But for Garbrandt, there is a bigger reason why he the Ultimate Fighting Championship granted him the rematch despite the devastating loss. So he is eyeing more than just the bantamweight belt in his second encounter with Dillashaw.
Superfight on Sight
Coming into this weekend’s match, No Love is not only setting his sights in snatching the bantamweight belt from Dillashaw. Garbrandt also wants to use the victory to pave the way for a super fight against Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.
The American slugger said that this is the reason why the promotion staged a rematch between him and TJ.
“They want me to be the champ, that’s why the gave me the rematch. They called me and offered me the fight in March, T.J. turned it down and made all these excuses, and I had to wait all the way until August to fight him. I was ready to go way before that. I told my manager, ‘I’m ready to fight. I don’t want to have my return postponed.”
Dillashaw campaigned for a ‘super fight’ against the Mighty Mouse after he dispatched Garbrandt last year. The bout, however, did not come to fruition. To this, Garbrandt claimed that it was him, not Dillashaw, that the UFC wants to star in that ‘super fight’ against Johnson.
“That’s the thing, that was my whole idea,” Garbrandt said. “I ended up hitting up Sean Shelby and Dana White, saying I’m gonna knock T.J. out and then go down and fight Mighty Mouse. That was my original thought. T.J. stole that from me, stole everything from me. If the UFC wanted that fight to prosper, they would have made that fight happen. They don’t want that to happen. They already moved on. “
Avoiding the Best Fighters
In his open workout this week, Garbrandt began firing shots at his rival, saying that Dillashaw was avoiding the best fighters in their weight class. He accused the champion of cherry-picking easy fights.
“The simple fact is, T.J. didn’t want this fight, [the UFC] had to basically tell him. He wanted to go down and fight Mighty Mouse. Even if he didn’t want to fight me, you didn’t see him wanting to fight Dominick [Cruz]. Dom has a win against him. He wants the easiest style match-up. He didn’t want to fight me – lord knows he doesn’t want to fight me, he knows what I bring to the table – Dominick’s already in his head with a win over him so he says, ‘I’m gonna go after Mighty Mouse.’ For what? Mighty Mouse is 125 pounds.”
For their rematch this Saturday, Garbrandt made a bold prediction about its outcome.
“I’d rather fight a guy that’s stapled himself as pound-for-pound, Demetrious Johnson. I think that’s the next fight to be made after I demolish T.J. on Saturday.”
Relive Garbrandt and Dillashaw’s first meeting in the video below:
Can Garbrandt snatch the bantamweight championship this Saturday? Or will Dillashaw defend his belt?