Heading into their UFC bantamweight title match, Cody Garbrandt had “No Love” for T.J. Dillashaw, his opponent Saturday and former teammate in Sacramento.
It didn’t sit well with Garbrandt and the Team Alpha Male camp when Dillashaw left to train in Colorado in 2015, a year after beating Renan Barao for his first title.
“It’s been a real rivalry ever since T.J. left,” Urijah Faber, the retired mixed martial arts fighter who founded the Sacramento-based team, told The Bee’s Ailene Voisin. “Him leaving is one thing. But the way he left, and the things he said, rubbed a lot of our guys the wrong way.”
When they met in UFC 217, Dillashaw got the better of Garbrandt, winning by second-round knockout in New York to reclaim the belt his once held and defended twice until losing to Dominick Cruz in 2016. Garbrandt took the belt from Cruz later that year.
Despite Saturday’s loss, the first of his career, Garbrandt remains confident.
“I still am the better fighter out there,” Garbrandt (11-1) told The Associated Press. “I'll show that in the rematch.”
However, Dillashaw (15-3) isn’t promising another fight – at least not right away.
“I just finished him in the second round. He doesn’t deserve a rematch,” Dillashaw said after the fight, according to MMAFighting.com. “He’s very new in this sport, he needs to work his way back up. I should’ve gotten a rematch after that Cruz fight, a very close split decision that I thought I won, and I did not get it. It took me a year-and-a-half – well actually, almost two years – to get it. So yeah, I think he’s going to definitely (need to) build himself back up.”
In other action on the pay-per-view card, Georges St. Pierre defeated Michael Bisping in the main event, taking back the middleweight championship he vacated in 2013 to take a break from MMA. Also, Rose Namajunas gave Joanna Jedrzejczyk her first loss to claim the women’s strawweight title.