Cody Garbrandt, who came up short to TJ Dillashaw in the UFC 227 main event, was assigned to the same locker room as UFC 227 undercard fighter Marlon Vera, who has recently done a bit of training with Dillashaw.
When the both wound up in that locker room at the same time, Garbrandt and his team essentially kicked Vera out, worrying perhaps that he might be spying for Dillashaw. As you can probably imagine, this did not go over well with Vera, who was just hoping to do some training of his own.
The Ecuadorian bantamweight broke down this heated encounter after his UFC 227 knockout of Wuliji Buren.
“My locker room, where my last name is, was in the same locker room as Garbrandt,” he said. “I went to get a massage. I see him training. I said, you know what, I will [turn] my back to his training. I really don’t care. I’m focused on my fight, this is my fight week. Then I hear somebody say ‘hey, that boy can not be here.’ So I didn’t pay attention. Then they says ‘oh, he’s training with TJ.’ So I turn around and I say ‘Hey, what’s the problem? I’m not looking at you.’ They said ‘No, you can’t be here.’ I said ‘My name is on the locker room. You have a problem with that?’ I’m not trying to get in a fight. I’m fighting two days later and I’m getting paid.”
“There’s a way to say things,” Vera continued. “[Garbrandt] could be like ‘Hey bro, you know what, I’m fighting somebody that trains with you, could you please go to the other locker room?'”
“But somebody talks to me like this … Who do you think you are? And I will say one thing, he makes neck tattoos look bad, because he’s acting like a little bitch.”
While Marlon Vera was pretty unhappy with the way Garbrandt spoke to him, he says he ultimately left the room because he wasn’t looking for drama.
“I left the room because I don’t want drama. I’m fighting in two days,” he said. “What’s the point of getting tough, getting into a fight… Somebody gets cut and you don’t have a fight. I’m fighting for money, I’m not fighting because this is cool. You get scared before this. There’s a way you can talk to people and you can get deals done. You don’t talk to people like you’re the boss. You don’t treat people like that.”
What do make of this tense moment between rising bantamweight contender Marlon Vera and the former champion Cody Garbrandt?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/6/2018.