One of the best stories to come out of UFC 250 was Cody Garbrandt’s triumphant return to the win column with a stunning knockout victory over Raphael Assuncao.
Not only did the former UFC bantamweight champion put a halt to his three-fight losing skid, it was also the first time we had seen “No Love” compete in over a year as he plotted his return to fighting form.
Two of those three losses – the only defeats he has ever endured in his professional MMA career – were to TJ Dillashaw, his former teammate at Team Alpha Male.
Those were both first-round knockouts in fights he was arguably winning up until its end sequence. Grabrandt’s penchant for getting carried away with his early striking successes and unnecessarily engaging in direct firefights were ultimately his undoing.
Garbrandt showed none of those traits as he dispatched Assunacao on Saturday night. Afterwards, the Ohioan immediately set his sights on Dillashaw for a third fight.
Dillashaw, of course, is serving his two-year suspension after testing positive for using EPO after his UFC flyweight title fight loss to Henry Cejudo. As a result, Dillashaw was stripped of the UFC bantamweight championship he won off Garbrandt the first time they fought.
Garbrandt long accused Dillashaw of taking performance-enhancing drugs before any positive tests were made public.
“That’s a fight I’d like to get back,” Garbrandt said during the UFC 250 post-fight press conference. “We all knew what he was on, we all knew what he was doing. It took so many times for him to skate by USADA, unfortunately.
“But he’s serving his sentence. He’s gonna always have to live with that the rest of his life. He’s got a child that he has eyes on him that knows his dad was a cheater. The whole world looked up to him.
“It’s sad he has no confidence that he has to use those kind of aides to be a fighter. But we’ll see. I’m gonna be at the top. He works his way back up there, open doors let’s get it.”
When pressed on whether he was aware of any other PED-related transgressions from Dillashaw, Garbrandt refused to speculate publicly.
“I don’t really want to get into that. I feel like that ship has sailed,” Garbrandt said. “That was a big burden a lot of us. The kid grew up in Team Alpha Male tutelage. It is what it is. That’s behind us.
“He’s serving his sentence for his wrongdoings. Karma always comes to those who’s doing bad things. He got his karma.”