On August 4, in the main event of UFC 227, UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw will defend his title against the very man he won it from: his arch rival Cody Garbrandt.
The pair first met in the co-main event of UFC 217, back in November, when Dillashaw knocked Garbrandt out after surviving a first-round knockdown. Neither man has fought since.
This rematch, of course, is a risky one for both fighters. For Garbrandt, however, the risks are undeniably higher. If he loses, he’ll be 0-2 against the current champion, which means he’ll have to essentially move mountains to earn another title shot.
Dillashaw is aware of this possibility for Garbrandt, and he’s fine with it. In fact, he’s happy to end his rival’s career in the bantamweight division.
“I’m going to ruin his career,” Dillashaw told BloodyElbow of Garbrandt. “I’m going to ruin his career at this weight class. He’s already getting his second shot, he should of worried about getting better, but I don’t know if he really can. I don’t know if he’s that smart of a fighter, but I plan on ruining his career at 135.”
“This sport’s crazy, obviously anything can happen,” continued Dillashaw. “You’ve always got to be ready for it and be nervous for that fight, but he doesn’t have a chance. I’ll be ready for anything he can bring to the table. You’ve always got to expect the toughest fight, but he doesn’t have a chance.”
While Garbrandt has seemed quite confident heading into this rematch with his former foil, Dillashaw believes the former champ knows he’s in over his head.
“He knows I’m the better fighter,” Dillashaw said. “He’ll pump himself up. He’ll talk; that he’s great, that he’s better, and all this stuff, but he knows. He knows the truth. I’m the better all around fighter. I’m the smarter fighter. And this is a bad situation for him, to go right back into a rematch for the title.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/23/2018.