Cody Garbrandt was finished even quicker by TJ Dillashaw in their rematch last weekend at UFC 227, and one of the former coaches for Team Alpha Male isn’t sure “No Love” was fully prepared for the rematch.
The rivals squared off in the headliner of the August 4th event, and Dillashaw defended the 135 belt, by putting Garbrandt away with strikes in the opening round. Although Garbrandt landed some hard shots early in the bout, he didn’t appear to stun Dillashaw as bad as he did in their first bout, last November. Dillashaw managed to survive the opening round in that fight, and came back to finish Gabrandt in round two.
Well since UFC 227, former TAM head coach Justin Buchholz spoke was a guest on the Slip’N Dip podcast. While discussing Dillashaw – Garbrandt 2, the former fighter said this (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“I feel like Cody…to reach the level that he was when he won the belt…he was the best martial artist on the planet then because of the amount of training and work he did and it showed in his performance,” said Buchholz. “I feel like he hasn’t been able to reach that level again. I feel like he has all the talent. T.J. doesn’t have his number at all, but with proper training it’s anyone’s game.”
“…“I feel like Cody Garbrandt properly conditioned is…because the hands down are something he got away with for a long time because of his speed and his reflexes. I feel like that’s based a lot on conditioning as well. To be able to know where you’re heads at and to be able to have reflexes the more tired you get. I think the defensive thing is a technical issue for sure, but it’s also a training issue; a cardio issue.”
It’s going to be interesting to see if Garbrandt or other members of TAM respond to this. Before UFC 227 went down, there was speculation whether Garbrandt was 100% for his first bout with Dillashaw, on account of back injuries he incurred last year.
Buchholz was also asked to weigh-in on whether Dillashaw or Cruz is the best 135’er, and the coach believes it is Cruz, until Dillashaw defeats him. Cruz defeated Dillashaw by split decision in 2016.