When news of a title fight between Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar getting scrapped from UFC 222 came, the promotion was left scrambling to fill the void.
After combing through the divisions, matchmakers thought they had found the perfect replacement: TJ Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt II. But sadly, the bantamweight champion saw differently, and the fight was scrapped.
“They just kinda wanted me to save the card, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to,” Dillashaw said on The MMA Hour Monday. “I’m dealing with some injuries that I was trying to keep quiet, but they kept hammering on me and hammering on me to take this fight. But I just wasn’t healthy. It’s not only to take a fight on four weeks’ notice, but also being injured and I haven’t been training and (recently) have a kid put a wrench in the whole thing, too.”
Thankfully, the UFC has managed to save its card by booking women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg and Invicta FC bantamweight champion Yana Kunitskaya as the main event. However, injuries aren’t the only thing holding Dillashaw back from an immediate rematch with Garbrandt. Simply put, the champ doesn’t think his rival is worthy of a rematch.
“It’s about this being a legitimate sport and doing it the right way,” Dillashaw said. “Tell me one other champion who never defended his belt and got an immediate rematch. He never once ever defended his belt—it wasn’t like he was a long-reigning champion or that he got robbed or whatever. There’s never been another champion that’s done it, so why are making this a precedent for Cody to get a rematch when he’s never defended his belt and then got knocked out? Like, how does that make sense whatsoever? So, really all Ive got to do is state the facts.
“This is a sport. Get back in line. It took me two years to get a title shot off a split-decision loss to Dominick Cruz that the UFC told me they thought I won. It took me two years to get back to that case. I beat two No. 1 contenders to get there. It’s a sport, you’ve got to push hard and you’ve got to get after it. You can’t complain, you can’t be a sore loser and al this should, coulda, woulda stuff.”
TUESDAY’S NEWS NOTEBOOK
- Matt Mitrione calls Roy Nelson a ‘dirtbag’ with ‘false integrity’
The honeymoon is over for former Ultimate Fighter cast mates Matt Mitrione and Roy Nelson. During Saturday’s heavyweight bout between the two, it appears Nelson might have used an illegal advantage over his opponent by grabbing the cage with his big toe, keeping Mitrione on the ground and allowing Nelson to reign down several blows. Mitrione tried to use a sweep he’s been practicing to change positions against Nelson in the third round. It was then that Nelson allegedly cheated.
On the MMA Hour, Mitrione said, “Roy then took his right big toe and lifted his foot off the ground and stuck it inside the fence,” Mitrione said. “And then for 45 seconds—or 40 seconds or so—inside of that round when he was on top of me punching me or elbowing me, he was cheating. He had all this leverage because he was pushing off the fence driving into me’
Referee Dan Miragliotta issued a warning to Nelson after a prompting from Mitrione, but as Nelson continued to go on the offense checked to make sure the blows stayed clean and didn’t recheck to make sure Nelson was compliant with the warning.
“For Roy to grandstand, to be like, ‘Oh, I’m full of integrity, I don’t cheat, I don’t steroids or anything else (sic), blah blah blah,’ and then when the fight comes down to it, to say you need to win because you lost the first two rounds, then you start to cheat just so you can win,” continued Mitrione. “That’s garbage, man. You’re a grandstanding dude with false integrity and I’ve got nothing for it. And if you guys think I’m being a sore winner, just go back and watch the film.”
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