One of the people who took TJ Dillashaw’s failed United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) drug tests the hardest (other than TJ himself) was Cody Garbrandt, a man who suffered back-to-back knockout defeats to “Viper,” with one of those costing him his Bantamweight title.
It especially stings “No Love” due to the fact that he’s been very vocal about TJ’s involvement with performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), going on record repeatedly saying he saw firsthand just what Dillashaw was up to during their days as former training partners.
While Cody and his team had the privilege to say “I told you so” after TJ was busted for EPO use and suspended two years, they still want to see further punishment handed to the now-former 135-pound champion. According to Cody’s manager Ali Abdelaziz, UFC should void all of TJ’s win under the UFC umbrella, as they are adamant USADA was informed of his transgressions long ago.
“If you’re an Olympic gold medalist, and you get caught with steroids, they take all your medals away – every medal you ever won,” Ali Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie Radio. “T.J. Dillashaw, all his wins in the UFC should be taken away. We told USADA about this, … they ignored it.”
Of course, that would be an impossible punishment to hand out as there is no way to prove TJ was dabbling with EPO prior, since he passed all previous drug tests. Plus, USADA was very open about the fact that EPO was not the target of tests in every sample.
While TJ serves his suspension, Marlon Moraes and UFC Flyweight champion Henry Cejudo will collide at UFC 238 for the vacant title. As for Cody, he is currently the owner of three straight knockout losses, and while he would love nothing more than the chance to break his skid, he wont rush back.
That’s why Ali says the team turned down a fight for “No Love” at the upcoming UFC Fight Night event in Sacramento, Calif., Cody’s home base, since the July date is too quick of a turnaround.
“He’s got a lot of fight left in him,” Ali Abdelaziz added. “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,” he added before breaking down Cody’s recent struggles.
“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.”
Indeed, Cody has the tendency to get into all-out brawls, a strategy that hasn’t proven successful in his last three outings (example here). That said, his aggressive style is what brought him to the world title, so whether or not Cody employs a new gameplan moving forward remains to be seen.