Former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw recently brought in Olympic boxer Vasyl Lomachenko for some training ahead of his bantamweight title fight with Cody Garbrandt later this year. A clip of the footage was released earlier this month, in which Dillashaw also explained that Lomachenko was such a difficult sparring opponent because of the angles he uses while boxing.
“He put it on me. He’s animal. He’s a cardio machine. He doesn’t give you a break. So much respect. Just to share the ring with the guy was amazing. I would never pass up the opportunity. I wish I was in a little bit better shape, but it was amazing.”
“Turning you into punches, that’s his thing,” he said. “He gets those angles where you can’t find him. You’re looking, and as soon as you find him, he’s hitting you. It was amazing. I’m a guy who wants to use angles and use footwork, so I can learn a lot from him. I really hope I get to continue to work with him.”
Now, more footage has been released from ESPN, which includes interview segments with both men.
Dillashaw spoke about the situation before-hand, saying:
“I need to learn what’s up,” Dillashaw said. “I’m always trying to expand my knowledge as a mixed martial artist. I’m such a big fan [of Lomachenko], I wouldn’t pass this opportunity up. Even if I get obliterated, it’s something I’ll remember forever.”
Following the sparring session, the former UFC champ explained:
“I just got my ass whooped,” Dillashaw said with a laugh after the workout. “Just his awareness, his cardio, and his pace, just how smart he spars — he’s definitely on another level.”
Lomachenko spoke about the sparring session, explaining that he wasn’t fully engaged at one point, and it lead to Dillashaw tagging him several times.
“I don’t like, he punch my head a couple times. When we start sparring, I started a little bit relaxed, little bit not serious. Then he punch a couple times in my head, I think, ‘Oh, OK. Let’s go.'”
Only time will tell if Dillashaw’s training with Lomachenko pays off when he fights Cody Garbrandt.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/29/2017.