TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt step into the Octagon for their long-awaited rematch on Saturday at UFC 227 in Los Angeles, but hardened UFC fans apart, you’d wouldn’t really know.
That’s because there has been a distinct lack of trash talking ahead of this fight when compared to their first matchup last November.
Bantamweight champ Dillashaw reckons the reason is that his fierce rival suffered an embarrassing defeat in their first meeting after mouthing off relentlessly prior to the fight.
“This camp’s been a lot different, it’s been a lot quieter,” Dillashaw said. “It’s hard to be an asshole when you just got knocked out. It’s hard to be this big old tough guy when I just knocked you out.
“He hasn’t been running his mouth as much. I’m sure he will once we’re there, but nothing to the extent he was.
“And, look, the guy doesn’t even deserve a rematch. I’m gifting it to him. He doesn’t deserve sh*t. But he does deserve to get his *** whooped again and that’s what I’m most looking forward to.”
— UFC (@ufc) July 29, 2018
Garbrandt, meanwhile, says he was not fully fit last time around, and will do better this time around as he is 100 percent.
“Two weeks before the (last) fight, I had to go to Vegas and get eight epidurals shot in my back so I could heal up and go to the fight week in New York,” Garbrandt said.
“I don’t regret anything. I’m blessed, being able to be here with now. And I’m healthy and that’s the thing, I’m so excited to be here and speak to you guys, I’m excited to be getting into the Octagon.”
And should he win, Garbrandt says he is aiming for a bout with the UFC’s longest-reigning champion, flyweight master Demetrious Johnson.
“If they go out and compensate us, I’ll be more than willing to fight ‘Mighty Mouse’ at 125 pounds. If they don’t want to pay us, I’ll stay at 135 pounds and clean out my division, and (Johnson) will keep doing what he’s doing.
“No ill words toward ‘Mighty Mouse.’ I think he’s a great, great fighter. But they’ve got to compensate us for that. I think it’s going to be a great fight.”
Johnson will also be appearing in LA at the weekend as the co-main event, where he will make the latest defence of his flyweight title against Henry Cujedo.