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TJ Dillashaw Questions Whether Cody Garbrandt is “Smart Enough” to be an Athlete vs. a Fighter

Kelsey Mowatt

UFC 217

We’re less than two weeks away from UFC 217, and not surprisingly, the war of words between TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt isn’t cooling off.

Even if you’re not a big time, MMA fan, chances are you know about the beef between Dillashaw and Garbrandt, It all started when Dillashaw elected to go train in Colorado, and with Duane Ludwig, which prompted Urijah Faber to ban the former champ from Team Alpha Male. Since then the rivalry between TAM’s Garbrandt and Dillashaw has ratcheted up several levels, so much so, they coached opposite of each other on TUF.

One of Garbrandt’s recent, reported digs regarding Dillashaw, is that the latter is more of an athlete, then a fighter. But, during a recent appearance on “The MMA Hour”, Dillashaw let it be known that he isn’t at all bothered, by that claim (quotes via¬†Bloody Elbow):

“I find that hilarious because it’s actually more of a compliment, I’d rather be an athlete than a fighter. An athlete’s going to go out there and figure out ways to win, see the holes in the game. I do treat myself more as an athlete than I do a fighter, as a fighter you’re a street thug. Going out there trying to knock someone out, being really aggressive. I’m going to go out there as an athlete just as he said, and pick him apart using that.”

“Don’t get me wrong, he’s very athletic. He’s quick, he’s got some great athletic attributes. I think yeah maybe his downfall is that he’s more of a fighter. He could be more of an athlete, I just don’t know if he’s smart enough to be that way.”

It’s an interesting counter point from Dillashaw, regarding the need to be more of an athlete. If you view athletes as some one who’s more likely to be strategic and composed during a fight, than absolutely. Those are key ingredients for becoming a champion and staying on top. But, if in being an athlete, you hesitate to go for the finish and play it too safe at times, then perhaps not right?

One thing’s for certain, despite all the verbal exchanges Garbrandt and Dominick Cruz had leading up to their scrap last December, “No Love” was on point in that scrap.

UFC 217 will be hosted by the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City.

 

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