The highly anticipated rematch for the UFC bantamweight championship is set for UFC 227 on August 4th at the Staples center in L.A. TJ Dillashaw will again fight his rival and former teammate, UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt. I hope the rematch is as exciting as the first fight.
These two originally met at UFC 217 last November, and their stories are eerily similar. They both starred in wrestling, and rounded out their MMA skills at Team Alpha Male. Cody (who still trains there) credits his meteoric rise to the camp. TJ credits his head coach Duane Ludwig (a Kickboxing/Muay Thai legend) for his success. When Ludwig left Alpha Male to go to Denver, TJ followed him. The members of his former team considered this an act of treason and betrayal, which explains the animosity between the two fighters.
That first fight was epic. Cody had TJ dropped and hurt at the end of the first round. Visibly wobbled, TJ stumbled back to his corner. When he came out for round two, you would never know he was hurt; He kept landing crisp combos on Cody and moving out of the way every time Cody offered anything in return. In the blink of an eye TJ landed a perfect right hook, sent Garbrandt crashing to the canvas. TJ followed up with some punches and the referee had no choice but to stop the fight. Immediately after TJ stood up and screamed in the face of a disoriented and confused Cody Garbrandt. Once again TJ Dillashaw was the UFC bantamweight champion.
This time around I expect a similar type of fight. These dudes are so similar in style and movement, it will always be a close fight. Cody has superior technical boxing skills, while TJ has the edge in movement and kickboxing. I doubt this fight goes to the floor but if it does I have no idea who has the edge. I think that this fight will last longer than the first now that they have a feel for one another. Ultimately I hope Cody wins, only to see a rubber match at the end of the year. With that being said, I think TJ’s movement and his kicks are something Cody will never understand, and for that I see TJ Dillashaw winning again; this time by a decision after an amazing five rounds of fighting.
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