T.J. Dillashaw reclaimed the UFC bantamweight title on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, as he finished former teammate turned bitter rival Cody Garbrandt in the second round.
The fight was an enthralling and dramatic one while it lasted, with both fighters hitting the canvas before T.J. authored a stirring conclusion.
Garbrandt decked Dillashaw right at the death of the first round, landing a squeaky clean counter right hand over the top of a body kick. He didn’t have much time to follow up, however, and Dillashaw was given a chance to regain his wits between sessions.
Early in the second, Dillashaw clattered Garbrandt with a roundhouse kick to the head. Garbrandt stumbled backward before dropping to the seat of his pants. The Team Alpha Male representative recovered well but it wasn’t long before Dillashaw tested his recuperative powers once again. While Garbrandt committed and opened up during a skirmish in the pocket, Dillashaw picked a beautiful right hook that landed right on his foe’s chin. Garbrandt collapsed to the floor and Dillashaw went for the kill, bombarding the soon-to-be ex-champion with vicious punches in the dying seconds of his reign. Eventually, referee Dan Miragliotta jumped in to end the fight at 2:41 of the second round.
In the immediate aftermath of the fight, Dillashaw let out a guttural roar right in Garbrandt’s face. However, by the time Joe Rogan put a microphone in front of him, Dillashaw had calmed down somewhat and, in spite all that has gone on between them over the last two years, he offered classy words of respect for Garbrandt, predicting that the previously unbeaten 26-year-old would bounce back from the loss.
Dillashaw then turned his attention to another reigning champion.
“Demetrious Johnson I’m coming for you, you’ve got that record that’s fake, you dodged me, and I’m coming for that belt and you know it,” said T.J., stimulating the salivary glands of fans everywhere.