Late last month, on the main card of UFC 207, TJ Dillashaw defeated John Lineker, and seemed to secure himself a shot at the winner of the card’s bantamweight title fight as he did so. In that bantamweight title fight, his former training partner Cody Garbrandt shocked the world by upsetting Dominick Cruz.
During an appearance on Monday’s episode of the MMA Hour, Dillashaw weighed in on Garbrandt’s masterful performance, and despite what is often reported as a strained relationship between them, was quite complimentary his former training partner.
“They wanted to film me watching [the fight] and all this. They wanted to build up the hype of it,” he began.
“I was him impressed. I expected [Garbrandt] to the be the emotional fighter, just with the way everything went down that week, and I felt like Cruz was purposely trying to get his guys to get into his head. I guess I was giving Cruz too much credit for being smarter than he was, because Cruz was actually the one that came out and fought emotionally. He didn’t fight like he usually does. He looked slow, he looked like he was loading up on his punches and he didn’t mix things up very well, you know what I mean? He was the one that actually fought emotionally and Cody fought smart. He did a great job, I was impressed.”
“That’s been by far the best [Cody] has looked, and I do think that’s one of the worst that Cruz has looked also. I was surprised by both. I thought Cruz was the smarter one, and I thought Cruz was the one that was going to get under Cody’s skin and make Cody fight over-aggressive. I really think maybe Cruz was expecting that and when it didn’t happen, it threw off everything. As well as not being able to get that takedown in the first round, it kind of put him in shambles, and he started standing in front of Cody and standing and brawling, which he never does. I wish he would have fought me that way.”
While Dillashaw was vocal in his belief that Garbrandt didn’t deserve the title shot in advance of UFC 207, he admitted on the MMA Hour that he was actually proud of his former teammate.
“Watching Cody fight, it was something. I was impressed and proud for him, proud for the way he handled himself and how it went down.”
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