Back in November, Cody Garbrandt lost the UFC bantamweight title to TJ Dillashaw. This Saturday night, in the main event of UFC 227, he’ll have the chance to reclaim it when he meets Dillashaw in an immediate rematch.
Given that Garbrandt was knocked out by Dillashaw, and that he never defended his title, his being given an immediate rematch with the champ was somewhat controversial among fans. Garbrandt, however, believes he knows why he’s getting this rare opportunity to reclaim his title.
The UFC wants him to be a champion.
“The simple fact is, TJ didn’t want this fight, [the UFC] had to basically tell him,” Garbrandt said at the UFC 227 open workouts Wednesday (transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting). “He wanted to go down and fight Mighty Mouse. Even if he didn’t want to fight me, you didn’t see him wanting to fight Dominick [Cruz]. Dom has a win against him. He wants the easiest style match-up. He didn’t want to fight me – lord knows he doesn’t want to fight me, he knows what I bring to the table – Dominick’s already in his head with a win over him so he says, ‘I’m gonna go after Mighty Mouse.’ For what? Mighty Mouse is 125 pounds.”
“That’s the thing, that was my whole idea,” Garbrandt continued. “I ended up hitting up Sean Shelby and Dana White, saying I’m gonna knock TJ out and then go down and fight Mighty Mouse. That was my original thought. TJ stole that from me, stole everything from me. If the UFC wanted that fight to prosper, they would have made that fight happen. They don’t want that to happen. They already moved on. They want me to be the champ, that’s why the gave me the rematch. They called me and offered me the fight in March, TJ turned it down and made all these excuses and I had to wait all the way until August to fight him. I was ready to go way before that.”
Do you think the UFC is hoping Cody Garbrandt wins at UFC 227 this weekend?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/2/2018.