Cody Garbrandt, who will be coaching the next season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite of T.J. Dillashaw, says he’s excited for the chance to coach aspiring fighters. “I’m excited and honored to come in here and see how I am as a coach and change these guys’ lives,” he said on FS1’s “UFC Tonight.”
The backstory with Garbrandt and Dillashaw will make for a strong legit theme to add drama to the season. He said “the storylines and the excitement between me and T.J.” will be a big component, but so will the contestants, who are former Ultimate Fighter participants.
“These guys have been here before and are battling back,” Garbrandt said. “The fighters want to prove they belong back on the big show.”
Because Garbrandt and Dillashaw are coaching TUF, that means they’ll also fight each other. That puts a rematch between Garbrandt and Dominick Cruz on the back-burner. Garbrandt is talking a big game when it comes to who is on his want-list of opponents, who he sees ahead of Cruz in line. “I have respect for Dominick, but I whooped on you, I clowned you,” Garbrandt said. “There’s a new hit list. T.J. is next, then Jose Aldo, and then Conor McGregor. I know what it’s going to be like with TJ because we’ve trained together.”
He is confident he can beat Dillashaw when that fights takes place. “The way he fights is the same way he spars in training. He’s going to go out there and try kill you,” he said. “I was whopping on him when he was there. It’ll be great to set tell the truth and tell the story of how it really went down in training.”
Keller’s Analysis: There aren’t two better current personalities to coach TUF than Dillashaw and Garbrandt among current active UFC fighters. This should be one of the best seasons in terms of having two young, brash, hungry, cocky fighters still trying to make a name for themselves in the top tier of PPV draws. They will have great incentive to turn up the drama and keep the show interesting. Working with welterweights who have been on the show before also should amp up the drama. This should be a strong season of TUF.