Prior to UFC 217, a lot of folks were looking at Cody Garbrandt, in terms of being the promotion’s next, big star. But, according to the man who beat him, T.J. Dillashaw, “No Love” has a “tough road” ahead for him, in terms of reclaiming the 135 belt.
The rivals and former teammates finally threw down on November 4th. Although Garbrandt stunned Dillashaw badly in the opening round, the latter came back to score a second round, stoppage win. After the bout, Dillashaw was quick to shut down any talk of immediate rematch, and during a recent interview with FloCombat, the 135 champ did so again.
“He definitely doesn’t deserve a rematch,” Dillashaw said. “He never actually defended his belt. In my mind, you’re not even really a champion until you defend your belt. He never ever once defended it, and he got knocked out in the second round. I lost a split decision against [Dominick] Cruz when the owners of the UFC told me they thought I won the fight. You tell me how that makes sense…”
There hasn’t really been widespread calls for an immediate rematch, so, it’s pretty unlikely that’s going to happen. And what about Garbrandt’s future prospects? In terms of reclaiming the bantamweight crown?
“He is good enough [to earn another title shot], but he does have holes in his game and I think I’ve proved that now. I also don’t believe he has a chin. I think a lot of people are scared of his power, and there are some guys in the weight class that can hang with [him]. It’s going to be a tough road…”
These comments probably aren’t going to sit too well with Team Alpha Male and Garbrandt supporters. Particularly the comment about the former champ’s chin. Garbrandt had never been stopped in a pro MMA bout, prior to facing Dillashaw.
It will be interesting to see where Garbrandt goes from here, and who he fights next. There’s certainly some interesting possibilities for him, like say, a bout with the third ranked, Raphael Assuncao. John Lineker and Jimmie Rivera are fighting on December 30th, but if the latter wins, he’ll likely lock up a title fight.
Dillashaw, meanwhile, continues to call out flyweight champ, Demetrious Johnson. So far, however, nothing official has been announced.