A third fight with TJ Dillashaw would go very differently according to Cody Garbrandt.
Garbrandt suffered his first professional loss after a second-round TKO defeat to Dillashaw in their bantamweight title fight back in November 2017.
That was followed by a first-round TKO defeat to Dillashaw in their rematch in August 2018 where Garbrandt made the same mistake of getting too aggressive and not focusing on his defense.
“No Love” would then make the same error once again against Pedro Munhoz which resulted in a first-round knockout defeat in March 2019 which put him on a three-fight losing skid. However, he has since bounced back with an emphatic second-round knockout of Raphael Assuncao last summer.
Recently, Garbrandt spoke of losing his passion for fighting once he became bantamweight champion. And he believes he wasn’t in the right mental state to fight Dillashaw which ultimately led to his earlier setbacks.
“My mental state was not what it should have been to go in against a guy like TJ,” Garbrandt told Joe Rogan in a recent appearance on his podcast. “And we can fast forward to where he got popped and this and that. TJ can be on that stuff — he can be on that stuff and he still can’t beat me when I’m focused and mentally there and I’m in there, I’m excited.
“I’m glad that he’s coming back, he’s got to prove to himself. And it’s a big fight for me to come back to in the future. That’s going to happen. I feel like TJ caught me at a time where mentally I was not in the best state of mind to go in there and be a champion. That’s why it was taken from me. I wasn’t doing the right things, the slight edge things. He capitalized and I look back on it — there’s a little bit of insanity. You got to be insane to repeat the same thing and expect a different outcome.”
Garbrandt Thankful For Setbacks
Everything happens for a reason, however.
And Garbrandt is happy he suffered those setbacks as it has made him hungrier than ever to return to the top of the mountain.
“Looking back, it’s hindsight’s 20/20 always in a fight, but I’m thankful for that,” Garbrandt added. “I felt like if I 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.
“… I’m excited and more hungry than ever because I know what it takes to get back to the top.”
Garbrandt was expected to face Deiveson Figueiredo for the flyweight title in November but had to pull out due to injury. He is now targeting a bantamweight fight with Jose Aldo.