Manager turns down UFC on ESPN+ 13 spot for Cody Garbrandt, wants T.J. Dillashaw's wins vacated (1 Viewer)


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Manager turns down UFC on ESPN+ 13 spot for Cody Garbrandt, wants T.J. Dillashaw's wins vacated
The UFC wanted ex-bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt to make a July homecoming, but his manager told the promotion to pump the brakes.

“He’s got a lot of fight left in him,” Ali Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie Radio. “The key (is) you’ve got to get him healthy and get him right. The UFC wanted him to fight in Sacramento (at UFC on ESPN+ 13). I want him to fight in October or November. Let’s get him right.”

The UFC would no doubt love to capitalize on Garbrandt’s draw in his adopted California hometown, which hosts an event on July 13. The problem for Abdelaziz is the date comes two months after Garbrandt completed a two-month suspension for his third consecutive knockout loss.

To the manager, that’s too quick of a turnaround. He considers Garbrandt (11-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) a son and believes another month or two can only do the ex-champ good. The aggressive style he brings to every fight is a double-edged sword that may thrill fans, but it requires more caution on career choices.

“You know what the problem is with Cody? He’s too much of a fighter,” Abdelaziz said. “If Cody fought the way (he did in the) Dominick Cruz fight, he’s going to be very hard to beat. But he’s got so much on his shoulder – a chip on his shoulders. If you punch him, he wants to kill you, he wants to eat your heart out. But that’s just Cody, love him or hate him.”

Garbrandt has been laying low since a knockout loss to Pedro Munhoz at UFC 235. But he erupted with recent news of ex-champ T.J. Dillashaw’s positive test for recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO), claiming he’d warned the UFC’s anti-doping partner, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, about his bitter rival’s drug use. Prior to a a second fight at UFC 227, Garbrandt openly accused Dillashaw of using the banned substance.

Abdelaziz claims he and his client warned USADA about Dillashaw for the past three years, to no avail. He indicated a two-year suspension for the ex-champ doesn’t go far enough.

“If you’re an Olympic gold medalist, and you get caught with steroids, they take all your medals away – every medal you ever won,” he said. “T.J. Dillashaw, all his wins in the UFC should be taken away. We told USADA about this, … they ignored it.”

The manager clarified he has no ill will toward UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky, who’s countered Abdelaziz’s claim by noting Dillashaw has been tested for EPO in three UFC bouts, including the UFC 227 rematch with Garbrandt.


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Cody Garbrandt: I starch one more guy, I'm fighting Henry Cejudo
LAS VEGAS – Injuries are Cody Garbrandt’s biggest opponent right now. But the ex-UFC bantamweight champ is confident he’ll be back at the top soon.

Garbrandt is targeting a return to the cage in early 2020 after a pair of wrist injuries. And he believes a title shot against current champ Henry Cejudo isn’t far out of reach, he told MMA Junkie.

“I starch one more guy, I’m back to fighting Henry,” he said. “I’ve been up the mountain before, and I’m coming back.”

Although Garbrandt specifically mentioned current double-champ Cejudo, whose next title defense is expected at flyweight, he expressed no preference over who he fights for the title. Any comeback ending in a belt is good enough.

Garbrandt tore several ligaments and tendons in his wrist following a knockout loss to Pedro Munhoz in March. He was about to announce his next fight when he re-injured his wrist. He underwent stem cell therapy two weeks ago and received a six- to eight-week estimate for recovery time.

With a 2019 return dashed, Garbrandt said he’ll do whatever it takes to get back his title.

“I believe I am the best, and you’ve got to prove to yourself that you are the best,” he said. “It’s always me vs. me; it’s never about my adversary. If I’m good with myself, and I go in there at peace with myself, that guy across there is going to have a bad night.”

Garbrandt was in Las Vegas at the Olympia Weekend Expo to help promote the release of Limitless’ new line of health and fitness products.


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Cody Garbrandt looking at a March start for ‘road back to the top’

Following a whirlwind 2016 that saw Cody Garbrandt fight four times and win the UFC bantamweight title, “No Love” has spent the last three years struggling to stay healthy. He only made it into the cage once a year in 2017, 2018, and 2019, with all three fights ending in KO or TKO. Any hope he had to turn 2019 around ended with a ‘torn tendon’ in August.

But now Garbrandt sees the light at the end of the tunnel. In an interview with MMA Fightingduring his manager’s Dominance MMA media day, the former 135 pound champ gave a timeline for his return and explained how hyped he was for the year to come.

”You guys will see me soon, very soon,” Garbrandt said. “Almost cleared from my injuries, I tore another tendon, that’s two tendons since last March. So hopefully by March or before if my body and mind are feeling up to it. I’m excited to get back in, I cannot wait, I miss it.”

”You really don’t get to understand, love, and respect something until it’s gone,” he continued. “And it’s been temporarily gone for me from injuries. Losses I can deal with, but injuries ... it takes a little bit. The healing process and being healthy are two different things. For me to be healthy in 2020, I’m excited for that year and what it brings. The challenges and the adversaries that I have. The road back to the top.”

For now he’ll just have to take satisfaction from his various pastimes, which apparently include breeding pitbulls (morally questionable but pretty adorable from what we can tell from the above video) and of course getting tattoos.

In another interview with TMZ, Garbrandt described the 25 hours he spent on the table getting a massive back tattoo done. Further complicating the ordeal was a stem cell injection treatment he’d had on his spine just before his tattoo artist called him up.

“When he went over the stem cell injection, where they injected from, and man ... woo!” he said. “That made your asshole pucker up a little bit!”


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