Later tonight, on the main card of UFC 207, former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw will take on streaking contender John Lineker. The winner of this compelling scrap is likely to be the next man in line for the winner of the card’s co-main event: a bantamweight title showdown between champion Dominick Cruz and challenger Cody Garbrandt.
If Garbrandt springs the upset and becomes the division’s new champion, don’t expect him to be especially worried about his first challenge. In advance of his fight with Cruz, he’s referred to both Dillashaw and Lineker as “easy fights.”
Unsurprisingly, Dillashaw does not agree with this statement from Garbrandt. In a recent interview with MMAFighting.com, he claimed that, back when he and Garbrandt trained together at Team Alpha Male, he would occasionally make Garbrandt cry in practice.
“He knows that’s not true because I made him cry multiple times after practice,” Dillashaw said. “So, he can say as much as he wants, but he knows it’s not true. I remember him getting ready for the [Marcus] Brimage fight [at UFC 182] and he just lost it because I just beat the sh*t out of him. So, he can pump himself up like a politician and think he’s this big, bad man, but everyone’s got their weaknesses.”
While Dillashaw was not willing to let this comment from Garbrandt slide, he also assured that he’s reluctant to stir the pot with his former teammates at Team Alpha Male, many of whom he still considers friends.
“I still have a lot of guys I stay in touch with,” he said. “Chad Mendes, I’m hunting with all the time. Lance Palmer, I’m always talking with. Danny Castillo. Justin Buchholtz is one of my best friends. So that’s something I wouldn’t really want, having to be a rival with those guys, because I love all those guys. So it’s a tough one.”
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