Cody Garbrandt is willing to take money out of his pocket to get T.J. Dillashaw in the Octagon next month.
Garbrandt told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour that he is willing to give Dillashaw a percentage of his fight purse if Dillashaw takes a fight with him at UFC 222 on March 3 in Las Vegas. Dillashaw said Monday on SiriusXM Radio that he’s still interested in taking the fight on short notice if the UFC sweetens the pot.
“I’ll give him a cut of my purse if he wants it, if the UFC doesn’t want to compensate him,” Garbrandt said. “It’s not about money for me, it’s about principle. It’s about getting my title back. I’m healthy. OK, we both haven’t been training — OK, cool. Four weeks, we’re fighters at the end of the day. We’re gonna fight. If he wants a cut of my purse, I’ll give [it to] him. If it’s money for him, OK.”
The UFC 222 main event fell apart last week. Max Holloway was supposed to defend his featherweight title against Frankie Edgar, but Holloway had to pull out with an ankle injury. The UFC has been seeking a new main event and Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt 2 was proposed. Dillashaw initially turned it down, though, saying he and his wife just had a baby and he hasn’t been training. Dillashaw also said Garbrandt has not earned an immediate rematch.
At UFC 217 in November, Dillashaw defeated Garbrandt by second-round TKO to win the bantamweight title for a second time. The two have a long standing rivalry as former Team Alpha Male training partners. Dillashaw departed the gym a few years ago.
Garbrandt (11-1) says his wife is due with their baby any day, but he’s still willing to fight. Dillashaw said he’s in Colorado right now and his camp is in California, so he hasn’t been training. Garbrandt said he hasn’t been training, either, and his boxing coach is in Ohio, while he is in California.
“When the UFC calls and gives you can opportunity like that, you jump all over it,” Garbrandt said. “I don’t know, man. He wants to make a lot of excuses and bring fatherhood into it. It’s the same thing. I understand, whatever. But you’re gonna sit there and tell me you can’t train because you’ve got a kid?”
Garbrandt, 26, said he believes Dillashaw just doesn’t want to fight him again. He said he took note when Dillashaw and Dillashaw’s coach Duane Ludwig, the former Alpha Male head man, both said after UFC 217 that Garbrandt would have a long way to go to get back to a title shot.
“TJ already started planting it in the media,” Garbrandt said. “They’re media whores, him and Duane. They want to go there and talk. I never saw a coach who goes in the media and talks and does interviews more than Duane. It’s crazy to me. They know what it is. That’s why they say I’m gonna have a long road back. They don’t want that fight back with me and it is what it is.
“It’s inevitable. It’s destiny for me to be a world champion again. That’s my goals and that’s what I’m training for.”
Garbrandt said he’s willing to pull out all the stops to make the fight happen, so he can get back that gold belt.
“If TJ grows a pair in these next few days, man, awesome,” Garbrandt said. “Then I’ll have some respect for him. Because I know if it was Dominick Cruz, Dominick Cruz would immediately answer the call and been like, ‘Let’s do it.’ He fought TJ on four weeks notice and actually beat him.”
If Dillashaw wants more money, Garbrandt said he’s willing to open up his own wallet to give it to him.
“TJ, if you’re listening; Duane, I know you’re listening — you’re a weirdo,” Garbrandt said. “Let’s make this fight. Let’s make this fight, let’s do this. Let’s save the card. Let’s get compensated. If you want some of my purse, I’ll give it to you. I don’t give a f*ck about money. I want the title back and that’s it.”