LAS VEGAS — Cody Garbrandt said immediately after he defeated Dominick Cruz to win the UFC bantamweight title that his preference for a first title defense was, well, the same man he just beat.
Garbrandt said he was willing to grant Cruz an immediate rematch due to his standing as an all-time great at the 135-pound division. And “No Love” stood by that in discussions the UFC, he said at a recent Ultimate Fighter 25 media day.
It was Cruz that did not want the rematch, Garbrandt said. Which is why Garbrandt will defend the belt against T.J. Dillashaw in July and coach opposite him on TUF 25.
“I was very surprised with Dominick, all the sh*t talking he did,” Garbrandt said. “What he said he was gonna do to me, he wasn’t able to do that, so I was just waiting for him to get the rematch. Give him the rematch, give him the respect for being the most dominant bantamweight fighter in the world. If I talked a lot of sh*t and kid comes and beats me up like that, I’d at least try again, because I have a fighter heart.”
Garbrandt, 25, defeated Cruz by unanimous decision at UFC 207 in December. Cruz had gone undefeated as a bantamweight and not lost a fight for nearly 10 years. After having just one fight in four years due to injury, Cruz came back and beat Dillashaw to regain the bantamweight title in January 2016.
Garbrandt (11-0) said he thought for sure Cruz would have taken the rematch, but it didn’t happen.
“I feel like Dominick doesn’t [have a fighter’s heart],” Garbrandt said. “I think I broke Dominick in that fight and truly don’t think Dominick will be the same.”
The new champ said he doesn’t mind taking on Dillashaw, his former training partner at Team Alpha Male. The two have exchanged words in the media for some time, ever since Dillashaw left the squad in 2015. Filming TUF has been tense for the two men and their coaching staffs, since there is a history there.
“That’s fine,” Garbrandt said. “I’m very content with fighting T.J. I’m happy to fight T.J. T.J.’s not a good person. He’s not a good person. He’s kind of a generic version of Dominick Cruz.”
Source:: mma fighting