Cody Garbrandt: “Mental state was not what it should have been” against TJ Dillashaw, but trilogy is “gonna happen”

TJ Dillashaw, Cody Garbrandt, UFC 227

Former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt says he wasn’t in a good headspace on the two occasions that he fought TJ Dillashaw.

Garbrandt first met Dillashaw, his former training partner at Team Alpha Male, in 2017. Despite dropping Dillashaw in the first round, he was stopped in the second, marking the end of his reign as the bantamweight king.

The pair then met in an immediate rematch in early 2018, but things went even worse for Garbrandt the second time out, as he was stopped by punches in round one.

Speaking on a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience, Garbrandt looked back on his two losses to Dillashaw. He claimed that he wasn’t in a good headspace heading into either of their fights. He also expressed his confidence that he’ll meet Dillashaw, who will soon return from a USADA suspension, for a third time in the future.

“I feel like T.J. caught me at a time where mentally I was not in the best state of mind to go in there and be a champion and that’s why it was taken from me,” Garbrandt said (via MMA Fighting). “He capitalized and I look back on it, I kept going back to those fights, and it’s a little bit of insanity. You have to be insane to repeat the same thing expecting a different outcome and that’s what I was doing… Looking back, hindsight is 2020 always in a fight, but I’m thankful for that. I feel like if I would have went off and defended the title, I probably wouldn’t have been as hungry and motivated as I am today and that’s going to help me out for the next five years of my career or however long I’m going to fight for.

“It’s not to say I didn’t like T.J. I don’t agree with a lot of the things that happened but that’s so far in the past, I’m passed that,” Garbrandt added. “But definitely, taking that in there, my mental state was not what it should have been to go against a guy like T.J. We can fast forward to when he got popped and this and that, T.J. can be on that stuff. He can be on that stuff and he still can’t beat me when I’m focused and I’m mentally there and I’m in there and I’m excited. I’m glad that he’s coming back. He’s got to prove to himself and that’s a big fight for me to come back to in the future. That’s gonna happen.”

Do you think Cody Garbrandt could avenge his previous losses in a trilogy fight with TJ Dillashaw?

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