On November 4, in the co-main event of UFC 217, bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt and challenger TJ Dillashaw will finally step into the Octagon to settle their score. In advance of this anticipated showdown, the former teammates have exchanged near ceaseless trash talk – particularly the Garbrandt side of the equation. One of Garbrandt’s latest barbs, however, appears to have been a misfire.
The bantamweight champion and his team recently attempted to insult Dillashaw by suggesting he is more athlete than fighter. Unfortunately for them, however, Dillashaw takes this as a compliment. The upcoming bantamweight title challenger explained his feeling on Garbrandt’s recent comments on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
“I find that hilarious because it’s actually more of a compliment, I’d rather be an athlete than a fighter,” Dillashaw told host Ariel Helwani (h/t MMAMania). “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.”
While Dillashaw admits that Garbrandt is athletic, he feels he is definitely more of a fighter than an athlete. And in his opinion, that’s not a particularly good thing.
“Don’t get me wrong, he’s very athletic,” Dillashaw said of his upcoming foe. “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.”
Who do you think comes out on top when TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt step into the cage together at UFC 217?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/24/2017.