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T.J. Dillashaw makes fast work of Cody Garbrandt in hyped bantamweight rematch

Kevin Iole
Combat columnist
T.J. Dillashaw retained his UFC bantamweight title during UFC 227 against Cody Garbrandt. (Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES – Cody Garbrandt has the reputation as a big puncher, but for the second time in as many fights, it was T.J. Dillashaw doing most of the damage.

Dillashaw retained his UFC bantamweight title and put a cap on his bitter rivalry with Garbrandt by dropping him with a big right hand and finishing him with strikes at 4:10 of the first round in the main event of UFC 227 at Staples Center.

The two were trading shots in what was a high-paced bout from the start. They started kicking at each other early, but once they started throwing hands, the fireworks began.

Garbrandt hit Dillashaw with a wide right hand that would close Dillashaw’s right eye. But Dillashaw responded immediately with a wide right of his own and dumped Garbrandt on his butt.

Dillashaw jumped on him and landed a number of hard shots to the face, and Garbrandt barely survived it.

He got up, though, and went right back at it with Dillashaw because it’s the only way he knows how to fight. They were trading big shots again, and each landed, but Dillashaw’s right put Garbrandt down again.

Garbrandt got up, but Dillashaw landed a series of punches as they were on the cage and Dean appeared to be about to stop it. Another ground-and-pound flurry from Dillashaw caused Dean to jump in and end it.

It was a decisive and impressive performance and gave him a strong argument as the best bantamweight of all time.


A wrestler, Dillashaw’s striking has improved dramatically and it was his striking that led him to his back-to-back victories over his one-time friend, teammate and training partner.

Dillashaw knocked Garbrandt out in the second round in November at Madison Square Garden, but Garbrandt insisted an injured back before the fight did not allow him to properly train.

In addition, Garbrandt knocked Dillashaw down and had him in trouble late in the first round of the first fight, but the bell sounded and Garbrandt believes it saved him.

The rematch was another high-contact affair, but Dillashaw’s chin was just a little better and his punching accuracy that much sharper and it was all that was necessary.

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