The convoluted feud that bubbled over from Team Alpha Male into all of our lives needs a series of diagrams and graphs to understand. There are plot twists, character changes, and even behind-the-scenes mystery footage. This all could be written into a book, which gets made into a movie. Until then, we have to wait for the climax of the story arch to conclude at UFC 217. Cody Garbrandt will finally step into the Octagon with former teammate TJ Dillashaw to decide who really is the rightful UFC bantamweight champion and the one true star pupil of coach Urijah Faber. As we draw closer to the match-up, Garbrandt opens up about his raw feelings toward Dillashaw.
“Sometimes there’s negativity and there are cancers that are surrounding anything in your life, you’ve got to cut that out. That’s what we did. TJ [Dillashaw] left and we cut that out and whoever else followed, we cut the cancer out. Honestly, he was a fierce competitor. He liked to compete. He didn’t like to lose. He didn’t like to give an inch. With that said, he was willing to cheat at any cost to win…a round, anything, willing to cheap shot. He’s a cheap-shotting bastard. I don’t stand for that, especially with your teammates. That’s what it is. I lost respect for him after seeing truly who he was in the room amongst his friends.”
— FloCombat (@FloCombat) October 14, 2017
“[Duane Ludiwg] used the team for a platform to build his own ‘Bang Muay Thai’ system and TJ followed suit. They’re easily manipulated those two. They’re like two peas in a pod. Duane’s hanging off TJ’s nut sack just to promote his ‘Bang Muay Thai’ system. TJ is using him just as a mitt holder and doesn’t even want to pay him. They’ve got their own things going on. They’re cut from the same cloth. They’re both ‘What can we get out of this situation?’ It’s always money with them. That’s why they’ve been in the position they’ve been in. Duane’s selling peanut butter just to make it by cause he burns every bridge. TJ’s bouncing around from gym to gym like a prostitute on the corner, trying to find training partners and coaches, cause his loyalty’s not there.” — Cody Garbrandt speaking to FloCombat.
Their rivalry has been in the public since 2015. From Garbrandt’s words, it looks like there was something there the first day the two fighters met. Sometimes, you just get a vibe. Garbrandt didn’t like TJ Dillashaw’s vibe then, nd he certainly doesn’t like it now. We’ve watched this whole thing unravel over two years, a season of The Ultimate Fighter, and through countless interviews. Finally, on November 4th some closure will be made. It just so happens to take place on one of the UFC’s biggest cards of the year in the promotion’s Madison Square Garden return.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/14/2017.