For several years, former UFC champions T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt shared a lot of mat time as training partners at Team Alpha Male. The two also fought twice, with Dillashaw winning both matches in 2017 and 2018.
Given the history between the two, you can say that there is a level of familiarity. And in a recent episode of The Schaub Show, Dillashaw spoke about his former teammate and what he feels are Garbrandt’s strengths and weaknesses.
“He’s a pretty freak athlete. He’s fast,” Dillashaw said (via MMA Junkie). “He’s the fastest guy I’ve ever sparred or fought, by far the most speed, but I’m not trying to be a complete asshole, but he’s not the smartest human being inside that cage.”
Dillashaw feels Garbrandt failed to fully evolve as a fighter, which is likely the reason for his recent 1-5 run.
“He’s the exact same fighter. He’s a wrestler,” he said. “He knows how to wrestle. Why not learn some jiu-jitsu and stop relying on your chin and hands because your chin is not there.
“So change up who you are as a fighter, and he’s just not willing to do that. He’s gonna keep his head in the same spot, his hands are gonna be low, and he’s gonna throw hard, fast hooks.
“So after everyone sees where his weaknesses are at, and his left hand is in his pocket as he throws the right hand, just keep your left hand high and smoke him with the right. I mean, game over. We’ve seen it like five fights in a row.”
After a failed attempt to make a run at 125 pounds in December against Kai Kara-France, “No Love” is going back to bantamweight to face ADCC submission wrestling champion Rani Yahya. But for this one, Dillashaw is liking Garbrandt’s chances.
“The guy is dangerous too, but I think Garbrandt is too fast for that shit,” he said. “Garbrandt’s hard to take down. He’s gonna be too fast, and Yahya’s standup is very pathetic. I mean, 40 fights and no finishes on your feet, but on the ground he’s a ninja.
“I just don’t think he’ll get it there. I think Garbrandt is too fast for it.”
Yahya vs. Garbrandt will be part of the UFC Vegas 58 Fight Night event on July 9th at the APEX facility. It will be headlined by the rescheduled bout between former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos and Rafael Fiziev.