McGregor criticizes TJ Dillashaw (who is not present) on the show The Ultimate Fighters, telling Faber that he is only in it for himself. Garbrandt gets up and starts to push him. The two fighters are held back by the rest of the group. McGregor:
Loyalty’s a strong thing for me, and I respect loyalty a lot. But I absolutely despise people who are disloyal. People who bite the hand that feeds them. I cannot relate to that in any sway, shape or form. I certainly feel TJ is a little snake in the grass. Hes in here for his own benefit. I simply told that to him and I mean the truth can hurt.
On Episode 2 of UFC 207 Embedded, bantamweight champion Cruz eats sushi before doing some last-minute shopping, while his opponent Garbrandt spends his holiday at a meal hosted by mentor Urijah Faber. Nunes goes to a laundry in Las Vegas and Rousey arrives in the city to begin her first fight week in over a year.
Garbrandt storms out of a head-to-head interview with Cruz after talk between the two turned to Garbrandt’s girlfriend and Cruz commenting on her Instagram. Cruz:
Keep your fling on a string. She shouldn’t be hollering at me on social media. Keep her to yourself. As far as I’m concerned, I did you and her a favor. She obviously wears the pants in the relationship or else she wouldn’t be having to defend you.
I’ll come across there right now. You’re a room away.
C’mon, turd. Let’s go…He has to do this, because this is what an alpha, a savage does.
The UFC releases the fifth episode of UFC 207 Embedded: Vlog. Cruz and challenger Garbrandt break down their verbal altercation after “No Love” storms out of a television interview. Nunes talks about her weight cut, and all fighters, including Rousey, hit their targets at the official weigh-in.
In a unanimous decision Garbrandt beats Cruz after five rounds to become the UFC bantamweight champion. Garbrandt ends the first round with a cut over his right eye. In the third round a headbut leaves Cruz bleeding from a deep cut over his left eye. In the fourth round Garbrandt drops Cruz four times.
It sounds amazing. I’ve been waiting to hear that and visualise that since I was 12years old…I thrive on that [trash talking] environment. Hats of to Dominick. He’s the champion for a reason.
Garbrandt then gives the belt to a young fan.
Despite initially saying he wanted a rematch with Dominick Cruz, Garbrandt now says he wants to go up against Aldo.
I need to sit down with [UFC bosses] and find out the biggest money fight for me. I know I can go up and fight with Jose Aldo. You know, he has wins over my teammates, he’s a legend and I’d like to test his chin. I know I hit hard, I’m just getting started. And I also know the biggest fight’s with Conor [McGregor]. I can easily go up like my homie Nate Diaz, and choke him out and I can’t believe he’s the number 2 [pound for pound] when he got choked out…I’ll fight anybody, but to be honest, I truly believe I’m ready to fight…and I’m a draw. And I want the biggest money fight for me right now. I think I saw that Jose Aldo would like to fight me, I would like to test his chin. Whatever benefits me, I’m the champ.
Despite previously almost getting into a fight apparently defending Dillashaw against McGregor’s claims that he was a “little weasel” who was taking advantage of Urijah Faber, Garbrandt now says that McGregor was right in calling Dillashaw out.
When asked about the previous fight:
Garabrant talks about his next opponents.
TJ Dillashaw is someone I really want to fight. He was never the champion. He held a fake title. He’ was walking around as a fake champion. So that’s what I’d like to get back for everyone on the team…There’s Jose Aldo. He’s a legend in the sport and a great match up stylistically. And there’s Conor. Conor’s still out there whenever he wants to come back. There’s a lot of fights for me. I want to defend my title…Whether it’s Aldo or Conor McGregor. Might even be Jeremy Stevens. I’ll slap the shit out of him…Here’s how I have it planned: TJ next cos’ Dominick doesn’t want to do the rematch. I offered it it to him right after the fight…but he respectfully declined, for reasons. TJ looks next, but after I dismantle TJ, Dominick might get back confidence and want to challenge me.
Garbrandt and Dillashaw are announced as opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter season 25. The two will lead two teams as the series returns to TV in April 19th/ Garbrandt will represent Team Alpha Male, while Dillashaw will represent Team Elevation. The UFC has labelled the season ‘TUF: redemption’.
Speaking on The Alpha Male Podcast, Faber and other guests receive a phone call from someone pretending to be Dillashaw, which appears to irritate Faber, who talks about McGregor’s near fight with Garbrant, who had defended Dillashaw at the time.
Conor and I, we’d have a good banter back and forth. But we would have conversations, actual conversations all the time. So we’re standing in the gateway to go out to the fights, and that’s where they’d always put us together. He’s like ‘congratulations, we all watched T.J’s fight at the house, he’s so entertaining’. And then Dwayne does this interview saying no one on Team Alpha Male wants to be a champion, the only one who wants to be a champion is T.J. Dillashaw. So Conor — who understands about loyalty and things like that — goes ‘what’s up with Dwayne?’ … he got that little inkling that it was a sore subject and he just [rip at it]. So when T.J. got there, [McGregor] was all prepared just to needle him. Conor saw that little inkling and just ripped at it, and happened to be right.
Dillashaw and Garabrant appear to come to blows in a trailer for The Ultimate Fighter Redemption: Team Garbrandt vs. Team Dillashaw.
Video is released of Garbrandt’s altercation with Dillashaw during filming of The Ultimate Fighter. As two cast members go through their weight cuts to get ready to fight each other, words are exchanged between the two fighters in a hallway, and Garbrandt steps up to defend his fighter. Garbrandt:
You’re fake as f-ck, you know you are.
He called me fake, then attacked me. I think it all bleeds down to just insecurity. Cody’s not very smart, he doesn’t have anything that he can say that is witty. He feels like he needs to create drama to be important.
Amid reports he has been offered $50,000 for footage of Dillashaw being knocked unconscious, Garbrandt taunts Dillashaw to pick a charity for the fee to be donated to.
Hey Dillashaw, let’s put an end to all this. I’m going to go out and get as much money as I can for the video of me knocking you out, how about you pick a charity that you want to support, and I’ll donate 100% of the proceeds to that charity.
In response, Dillashaw says:
The charity should be something with kids without fathers so they don’t grow up to act like Cody…They can do whatever they want with the practice room. Because we all know how it went down. I could care less.
An hour or two before UFC Summer Kickoff, reports emerge that Garbrandt had pulled out of the conference in order to travel to Germany to deal with a serious back issue, leaving Dillashaw, his opponent in the upcoming UFC 213 bout to claim that Garbrandt was pulling out of the fight. Garbrandt:
I tore my back over two months ago and did stem cells that didn’t heal my back as I was told, now off to Germany for another procedure! Flying to Germany tomorrow for my second back procedure in less than 3 months, rest easy @TJDillashaw your time will come.
Nonetheless, Dillashaw says to fans on Twitter that he belives the fight has been cancelled.
White says that the bantamweight title fight between Garbrandt and Dillashaw has been officially called off, due to a Garbrandt back injury. Dillashaw will be rebooked to a flyweight title fight against 10-time defending champion Demetrious Johnson in August. However, Johnson, has said that he’s not interested in such a fight. A newly announced interim middleweight title fight featuring Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker will serve as the UFC 213 co-main event. The card will be headlined by female bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, who is defending her title against Valentina Shevchenko. White:
After [Cody’s] last round of treatment in Germany, they told him he’d need four weeks to rest. That would have put him two weeks out from the fight. With Cody out, we’re going to make T.J. versus Mighty Mouse [Johnson]. That’s the plan.