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T.J. Dillashaw says he turned down Cody Garbrandt rematch at UFC 222

Dillashaw doesn’t sound like he’s down to save UFC 222, with a short notice title defense.

UFC 217: Garbrandt v Dillashaw Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

T.J. Dillashaw has no interest in facing Cody Garbrandt in the first defense of his second UFC bantamweight title reign – especially not next month. His stated disinterest comes on the heels of a report from’s Ariel Helwani, on Saturday, that the UFC was hoping to book Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt 2 on short notice for UFC 222 on March 3 in Las Vegas. A move the promotion was hoping to make after featherweight champ Max Holloway pulled out of his bout against Frankie Edgar due to an injury.

The report looked to recapture the rivalry between Dillashaw and Garbrandt, who fought at UFC 217 last November, with Dillashaw capturing the title by second-round knockout. But it was put on hold by Dillashaw, who revealed to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that he had turned down the UFC’s offer.

Dillashaw made it clear he doesn’t want to fight Garbrandt at UFC 222, in part because he and his wife had a baby only five weeks ago. But also because he doesn’t think ‘No Love’ deserves an immediate rematch, since it took him two years to earn a title shot after losing the belt to Dominick Cruz.

Dillashaw added that he is still aiming to be booked versus flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson this summer.

“I’m not training,” Dillashaw said. “My camp is in California and I’m in Denver right now.”

Garbrandt – who said earlier in the day that he had accepted the rematch – fired back, making it clear he doesn’t buy Dillashaw’s “excuses.” His wife is expected to give birth to their first child in late February or early March.

Dillashaw ended the back-and-forth by telling Garbrandt to wait to criticize a fighter for not accepting a bout for family reasons until he has a child of his own.

With the Holloway-Edgar cancellation – and with Dillashaw-Garbrandt 2 seemingly not happening – UFC 222 is without a main event. The UFC is looking at Edgar vs. Brian Ortega in a non-title fight, per’s Ariel Helwani, but that bout has yet to be finalized.

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