UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw believes another win over long-time rival and ex-champ Cody Garbrandt will cement his place as the greatest bantamweight to grace the sport.
Dillashaw and Garbrandt are set to fight out their rematch at UFC 227 on August 4 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
While Dominick Cruz is widely considered the best to do it at 135lbs – holding a contentious split decision win over Dillashaw – the latter believes that doesn’t harm his case as he thinks he won the fight in the first place.
“It puts me at the top [of the list as the all-time greatest bantamweight]. I know I’m the best bantamweight ever,” Dillashaw told Luke Thomas on The MMA Hour [H/T MMA Fighting’s Peter Carroll]. “I’ve got a split decision loss to Dominick Cruz and that changed everything, a fight that I thought I won. That changed everything, but I am the best bantamweight in the world.”
Exuding confidence, Dillashaw is already looking beyond the challenge posed by Garbrandt in pursuit of being the best pound-for-pound fighter to ever set foot in the Octagon.
“I get to continue to grow my legacy,” he said. “Then I’ll move onto the next challenge and continue to be the best pound-for-pound fighter that I possibly can be.”
When questioned whether Dillashaw believes he needed to avenge his loss over Cruz to reach that goal, Dillashaw said: “I don’t think so. My performances speak for themselves. We’ve got to see if Dominick Cruz can even fight. The guy can’t even get in there anymore, so we’ll see if it comes up, but right now I’ve just got to worry about knocking Cody out in three weeks.”
Despite his ambitions of pound-for-pound greatness, Dillashaw is relishing the prospect of ending his Garbrandt rivalry with another knockout win to make a real statement against his bitter foe.
“I don’t mind if [the fight is] going to be different,” Dillashaw said. “I’m just going to go out there and make Cody irrelevant at the weight class. I’m going to go out and finish him. He’s got no chin, he doesn’t have any technique and I think I’m going to prove to everybody in the weight class that he doesn’t belong in the top 10.”