Today, bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt and his UFC 217 challenger T.J. Dillashaw stand out as two of the fiercest rivals in MMA. There was a time, however, when they trained together, as teammates, under the roof of Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California.
Then again, it doesn’t sound like they got along that well in their days as training partners, either. On a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, Garbrandt went off on his upcoming opponent, accusing him of getting too rough in practice, and even badly concussing Team Alpha Male staple Chris Holdsworth.
“Cheap shots at the bell, in boxing he’d knee you,” Garbrandt said (h/t MMAFighting.com). “Dirty s**t. Just dumb s**t.”
“The super-competitiveness – I’m competitive,” the champ continued “I don’t want to lose. I’m fighting tooth and nail not to get taken down or win that round. It’s just [the dirty stuff] at the end of the bell, knees – that’s why Chris [Holdsworth] is out. He kneed him in the back of the head. Concussions. That’s the truth.”
Garbrandt then clarified on his account:
“It was him and T.J. going. I remember distinctively, Duane [Ludwig] used to come up to Chris and be like ‘Hey, Grasshopper, T.J.’s fighting, can you take it easy on him?’ Chris is a killer, dude. Chris is f**king him up. Everybody [else too]. Chris is an animal. And I guess Chris choked him out and T.J. got up and f**king kneed him in the back of the head when he was down.”
Also on the show, Team Alpha Male head honcho Urijah Faber echoed Garbrandt’s sentiments.
“T.J. was never the best teammate,” he said. “He would try to hurt people. He’s a very competitive guy and he has a temper.”
“There’s no secret about T.J.” he added. “We talked about it when he was still on the team that he had to be reeled in a little bit. He’s got a temper. [That’s why we called him] Killashaw, Dillashank. It was his thing.”
What do you make of these accusations from Cody Garbrandt and Urijah Faber?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/6/2017.