LOS ANGELES — The rematch between T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt lived up to its promise of being every bit of exciting as the first.
But this time around, the bout didn’t get out of the first round. Dillashaw, who knocked out Garbrandt in the second round of their first match at Madison Square Garden last November, got the job done in the opening frame of their second encounter Saturday night
Dillashaw got the best of Garbrandt after 4:10 of wild action at Staples Center and retained his UFC bantamweight title via TKO.
“I believe I’m the best of all-time at bantamweight,” said Dillashaw (16-3) after winning for the eight time in his past nine fights.
Garbrandt came out firing and early and dropped his former teammate with a right hand. But Garbrandt rushed in recklessly going for the kill, Dillashaw sprang back to his feet, and immediately answered by dropping Garbrandt in return.
Garbrandt got out of that one. But the end came soon after, as he ate a looping right shooting for a takedown. Dillashaw twice dropped Garbrandt, rained down right hands as Garbrandt got back to his feet, landed a big knee in the clinch, and started to tee off when referee Herb Dean waved things off.
The two-time champion accepted the callout from new UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo, who, after defeating Demetrious Johnson to claim the belt in the previous bout, said he wanted to go up to 135 pounds and challenge Dillashaw.
“You want that, let’s bring it, baby,” Dillashaw said.
Garbrandt (11-2) lost his second consecutive bout with Dillashaw, leaving him with a long path back to the top of the division.