Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight title holder T.J. Dillashaw (13-3) will be going toe-to-toe with John Lineker at UFC 207 this Friday night (Dec. 30). The bout could serve as a potential title eliminator, although no promises have been made.
Regardless, the winner of this 135-pound tilt will be keeping a close eye on the pay-per-view’s (PPV) co-main event. In that slot will be a bantamweight title bout between champion Dominick Cruz and Cody Garbrandt. Dillashaw and Garbrandt were once training partners at Team Alpha Male.
Then things took an ugly turn.
Dillashaw grew fond of Duane Ludwig’s coaching. Tensions were high with Ludwig and Urijah Faber, leaving Dillashaw with an ultimatum. Dillashaw chose to go to Elevation Fight Team with Ludwig, which left a bad taste in the mouths of his former teammates.
Since the split, Garbrandt has shown “No Love” for Dillashaw. Back in August, Garbrandt said his former training partner “can get it too” and that the former champ was “talking sh*t.” Dillashaw recently spoke to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour and he was none too pleased with Garbrandt’s title opportunity.
“I don’t blame Cody for getting his title fight at all. Anyone in the UFC, that should be your goal, to get the UFC belt and to fight for that title. He should push for that as much as he wants. I blame Dominick Cruz and I blame the UFC for letting this happen. It’s kinda, I feel, making a mockery of the sport by letting a No. 8 ranked fighter for the title. Why’d he jump seven guys to be able to fight for the belt? It just doesn’t make sense at all.”
While Dillashaw doesn’t understand why “No Love” got a title shot before he did, his anger isn’t aimed at Garbrandt. The former champion believes Cruz is trying to avoid a title rematch with him. “The Dominator” defeated Dillashaw by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz back in January to reclaim gold.
“I believe that Cruz is going to try to do whatever he can to not fight me until he retires. Him trying to talk about how he wants these superfights and big-money fights. It’s like, I don’t even think you’re the best in the world and you’re trying to dodge me as long as you possibly can, because you know that I’m going to beat you. I fought him with emotion the first time and still beat him, and he knows that, and his coaches know that, and my coaches know that, and I know that. So, he’s going to do whatever he can to not fight me again.”