T.J. Dillashaw once again became the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight champion after knocking out Cody Garbrandt in the second round of their co-main event title fight at last night’s (Sat., Nov. 4, 2017) UFC 217 pay-per-view (PPV) event in New York City (recap).
Shortly after suffering the first loss of his professional combat career, “No Love” declared he was still the best fighter of the two, saying he would right his wrongs in a rematch. Dillashaw, though, says Cody now has to work his way up for a do-over seeing as how the win was pretty convincing.
“I just finished him in the second round. He doesn’t deserve a rematch,” Dillashaw said Saturday at the UFC 217 post-fight press conference (video replay here) via MMA Fighting. “He’s very new in this sport, he needs to work his way back up. I should’ve gotten a rematch after that (Dominick) Cruz fight (in Jan. 2016), a very close split decision that I thought I won, and I did not get it. It took me a year-and-a-half — well actually, almost two years — to get it. So yeah, I think he’s going to definitely (need to) build himself back up.”
Indeed, T.J. never got an immediate rematch against Dominick Cruz after many felt “Viper” should’ve gotten the nod at UFC Fight Night 81. Instead, the promotion gave Garbrandt the title fight and he defeated “The Dominator” to become the 135-pound king.
Now that T.J. scored a huge win over his former Team Alpha Male Squad in their on-going rivalry, “Viper” says the respect level for “No Love” is there as a fighter. But as a person, T.J. says he lost a lot of respect for his former teammate.
“I respect him as a fighter as well,” Dillashaw said. “I do not appreciate, me or my family — as you can see, my brother got very emotional after the fight — have not appreciated the accusations and just the crap talk, and trying to diminish my name and who I am. So, that’s one that I won’t ever forgive him for. But I do respect him for being a great competitor and I’m sure we’ll see him again. But yeah, he’s lost a lot of my respect. He’s lost all of the respect from my family,” he added.
After the fight, Dillashaw took to the mic to call for a Flyweight title fight against division king Demetrious Johnson. But, Jimmie Rivera or Dominick Cruz could have something to say about that once they do the dance at UFC 219.
“We’ll see what happens with Dominick Cruz and (Jimmie) Rivera (at UFC 219),” Dillashaw said. “That’s a tough fight. I think Cruz has his hands full with that fight,” said T.J. “But Demetrious can’t run from this one. This is too big. He broke his record. He got to pat himself (on the back) and break his record. Now let’s make some money. He’s talking about how he wants those seven-figure fights — well, this is it. Step up, be a man of your word, and let’s get this fight going. He’s a very cerebral fighter. He’s smart, him and his coach, because they know it’s a very tough fight against me,” concluded Dillashaw.
And he may just get his wish, as UFC president Dana White is indeed very interested in setting up a super fight between T.J. and “Mighty Mouse,” giving Garbrandt plenty of time to work his way up the 135-pound ladder.
For complete UFC 217: “Bisping vs. St-Pierre” results and play-by-play, click HERE!