Cody Garbrandt would like to run things back with TJ Dillashaw.
Garbrandt returned to the win column following an emphatic buzzer-beating knockout of Raphael Assuncao at the end of the second round in their UFC 250 co-main event last night.
It put an end to a three-fight losing skid for the former UFC bantamweight champion, who suffered two of those losses by knockout to arch rival Dillashaw. However, those wins are slightly tainted for Dillashaw now, who tested positive for EPO following his first-round knockout defeat to Henry Cejudo in January last year.
He would vacate his bantamweight title before accepting a two-year suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Garbrandt had been very vocal about Dillashaw using banned substances as early as 2017 so it didn’t come as a surprise to him.
And now that he’s seemingly on the way up in the bantamweight title picture, he would be open to facing Dillashaw in a third fight when the latter eventually returns to competition. Especially now that Dillashaw will undoubtedly be clean.
“We’re talking about TJ who is still suspended,” Garbrandt responded at the UFC 250 post-fight press conference when asked if he would like a third fight with Dillashaw. “He’s not even here but that’s a fight I’d like to get back. I mean, we all knew what he was on. We knew what he was doing. It took so many times for him to skate by USADA unfortunately. He’s serving a sentence. He’s going to always have to live with that for the rest of his life. He has a child that has eyes on him that knows his dad was a cheater. The whole world looked up to him, a lot of young kids.
“It’s sad, I kind of feel bad for the guy. He has no confidence that he has to use those kinds of aids to be a fighter. But we’ll see. I’m going to be after a world championship, I’m going to be at the top. So if he works his way back up there? Open doors, let’s get it.”
Dillashaw’s suspension ends January 21, 2021, so there’s still some time left for the former champion to return to the Octagon. But if Garbrandt keeps winning in the meantime and even finds a way to become a two-time champion, it’s certainly likely we will see a trilogy between the heated rivals.