85°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Garbrandt loses 2nd time to bitter rival Dillashaw

Updated August 5, 2018 - 12:35 am

LOS ANGELES — It wasn’t too long ago when Cody Garbrandt moon walked his way to the bantamweight championship after turning in a dominant performance over the once-masterful Dominick Cruz at UFC 207.

Garbrandt mocked Cruz with dance moves and pummeled him with vicious punches for five rounds before being awarded a unanimous decision.

To go along with the cockiness and destruction, Garbrandt showed kindness by strapping the belt on then-10-year-old Maddux Maple, who was fighting cancer at the time.

If there ever was a perfect performance, one that could turn a fighter into a superstar, that was probably it on the night of Dec. 30, 2016 at T-Mobile Arena.

Flash forward to Saturday night, Garbrandt left the octagon at Staples Center dejected after being technically knocked out a second time by bitter rival T.J. Dillashaw in front of an announced crowd of 17,800.

Garbrandt, 27, slowly walked out of the cage alone, with his hands on his hips and looking up at the rafters with lost eyes.

The fighter known as “No Love” has lost his direction after once having a paved road to being the UFC’s next household star.

“Dillashaw is on his way now,” UFC president Dana White said. “We’re already discussing if he’s the best ever.”

That was supposed to be Garbrandt, on his way to big things.

Maybe he can recover from this setback, but shaking off the losses to Dillashaw won’t be easy.

What makes it worse, is that Dillashaw, a fighter of many crafts, beat Garbrandt twice at his own game. Garbrandt was considered to be the better striker.

“He doesn’t have a chin,” Dillashaw said. “(The victory is) a little extra and closed that chapter.”

Garbrandt was overconfident in the first bout and threw numerous oral jabs at Dillashaw leading up to the fight at UFC 217.

The second time around, Garbrandt didn’t talk much. Taking massive right hands to the mouth from Dillashaw probably caused that massive decline in trash talk.

But arrogance is what made Garbrandt special inside the octagon. He didn’t appear to be his usual self leading up to the rematch.

“Cody is still very good but needs to win more fights,” White said. “Everyone believed Cody was going to beat T.J. (the first time), especially Cody.”

It didn’t turn out that way. Garbrandt needs to find his way again.

More MMA: Follow online at CoveringTheCage.com and @CoveringTheCage on Twitter.

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GManzano24 on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Covering The Cage Videos
Shevchenko says defending the UFC flyweight belt is her number one challenge
UFC women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko claimed the vacant title when she defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231 last December. She will put the belt on the line for the first time in Chicago, Ill., when she faces Jessica Eye at UFC 238 on June 8.
UFC title contender Jessica Eye says her move to Las Vegas gives her an edge
Ohio native Jessica Eye says she moved to Las Vegas to get an edge in performance ahead of facing UFC women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 238 in Chicago, Ill., on June 8.
Greg Hardy, former NFL star, on MMA knockout
The former NFL star needed just 17 seconds to score a knockout on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series (Adam Hill/Review-Journal)
Marlon Moraes says Henry Cejudo will regret stepping up to bantamweight - VIDEO
UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo is coming up to the bantamweight division to battle Marlon Moraes for the vacant belt on June 8 at UFC 238. Moraes said Cejudo will regret going after a second title in a new division and added that he thinks his path will cross with former champion TJ Dillashaw in the future.
Paige VanZant details her arm injury, when she can return - VIDEO
UFC strawweight Paige VanZant was briefly linked to fight at UFC 236, but had to withdraw from the bout due to a broken arm. As a guest on the RJ Ringside Podcast, she detailed the injury and also spoke about joining the M-1 Global booth as a color commentator.
THE LATEST
Tony Ferguson beats Donald Cerrone by TKO at UFC 238

Tony Ferguson’s path to the lightweight title is becoming clear. Ferguson won by technical knockout after a medical stoppage in a lightweight fight against Donald Cerrone at UFC 238 on Saturday night.