The storied rivalry between Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw continues to wage on, even if not currently inside the octagon.
After apparently warning USADA about Dillashaw for the past three years, Garbrandt’s claims were recently vindicated, as TJ tested positive for recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO). Initially relinquishing his Bantamweight Title in response, Dillashaw was then also suspended for two years. However, Garbrandt’s manager Ali Abdelaziz feels that further action should be taken.
“If you’re an Olympic gold medalist, and you get caught with steroids, they take all your medals away – every medal you ever won,” Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie Radio. “T.J. Dillashaw, all his wins in the UFC should be taken away. We told USADA about this . . . they ignored it.”
Nonetheless, Garbrandt (11-3) has his own career to focus on and after seeing the knockout loss to Pedro Munhoz, Abdelaziz intends to give his fighter some rest. “He’s got a lot of fight left in him. The key (is) you’ve got to get him healthy and get him right. The UFC wanted him to fight in Sacramento (at UFC on ESPN+ 13). I want him to fight in October or November. Let’s get him right.”
Considering Garbrandt’s aggressive style, Abdelaziz’s approach seems logical, especially after the former champion’s recent struggles. Since claiming the UFC crown in December 2016, Garbrandt has lost his undefeated record and suffered three straight defeats in the process. With Dillashaw, the owner of two of those losses, now suspended though, a new Bantamweight landscape awaits ‘No Love’s return. Stylistically though, Abdelaziz feels some adjustments could be made.
“You know what the problem is with Cody? He’s too much of a fighter. If Cody fought the way (he did in the) Dominick Cruz fight, he’s going to be very hard to beat. But he’s got so much on his shoulder – a chip on his shoulders. If you punch him, he wants to kill you, he wants to eat your heart out. But that’s just Cody, love him or hate him.”
Regardless of his flaws, Garbrandt remains high in the UFC’s Bantamweight Rankings, currently at #6. Once he’s back though, the former champion will be desperate to improve that standing by returning to the win column right away.