On Saturday at UFC 227, Cody Garbrandt failed to recapture the UFC bantamweight title from former teammate T.J. Dillashaw. “No Love” lost the exact same way via knockout, only this time, the finish came a round and a half earlier.
Dillashaw previously pointed out that Garbrandt had the tendency to drop his left hand and keep his chin open whenever a right hand was thrown, which he was able to capitalize on. Former Team Alpha Male coach Justin Buchholz recognized this strategy, and lauded Dillashaw and his team for a well-crafted strategy.
“T.J. was saying that Cody drops his left hand when he throws his right hand, that’s the shot he caught him with,” Buchholz said on the Slip ‘n Dip podcast (transcript by MMA Fighting). “Well, it was the same hand, but it was a completely different punch. In the first fight, T.J. landed the right hook from southpaw.”
“In the fight last night, he just hit him with a right hand. He just rolled with the right and came back with the right. He did a lot of boxing for this fight and he was prepared for that inside fight range. He knew when Cody was throwing hard he would be exposed and he was right, it was pretty masterful game plan.”
Dillashaw also mentioned how Garbrandt may need to fix some technical issues in his game, but according to Bucholz, it is also a conditioning problem.
“I feel like Cody Garbrandt properly conditioned is…because the hands down are something he got away with for a long time because of his speed and his reflexes,” he added. “I feel like that’s based a lot on conditioning as well.”
“To be able to know where your head’s at and to be able to have reflexes the more tired you get. I think the defensive thing is a technical issue for sure, but it’s also a training issue; a cardio issue.”
Now with two consecutive losses, Garbrandt holds a record of 11-2 (with 9 wins by knockout).