After facing defeat at the hands of former teammate and his most despised rival T.J Dillashaw, Cody Garbrandt has been pushed backstage into dim lights. Though there are many cries about the caliber and the dominance of Killashaw in the octagon, there is someone who still thinks that Cody is like a diamond in the rough who wasn’t polished enough to show his true potential.
Former trainer at Team Alpha Male, Justin Buchholz thinks that Garbrandt wasn’t in his best form while facing off the reigning bantamweight champ. According to him, his game lacked the skill level he exhibited to dispatch defeat to Dominick Cruz in UFC 207.
Amongst a staggering attendance present at Staples Center in L.A, Buchholz was there to witness his two training partners engage in a fiery encounter. However, the most looked forward match didn’t garner much action, as Dillashaw gave a quick fix to his arch rival in the second round.
After the fight, when talking to Slip’n Dip podcast, Buchholz raised his concern over Garbrandt’s training. The former trainer said that the fighter was not prepped to the same level as in an encounter against Cruz in December 2016. At the time of Garbrandt’s fight against Cruz, Buchholz was serving TAM as its training staff. This is what the former trainer had to say,
“I feel like Cody…to reach the level that he was when he won the belt…he was the best martial artist on the planet then because of the amount of training and work he did and it showed in his performance. I feel like he hasn’t been able to reach that level again. I feel like he has all the talent. T.J. doesn’t have his number at all, but with proper training it’s anyone’s game.”
Buchholz has moved the blame of loss from Garbrandt by inferring that the defeat wasn’t due to his technical incompetence, rather his lack of cardio trainings.
“T.J. was saying that Cody drops his left hand when he throws his right hand, that’s the shot he caught him with. Well, it was the same hand, but it was a completely different punch. In the first fight, T.J. landed the right hook from southpaw. In the fight last night, he just hit him with a right hand. He just rolled with the right and came back with the right. He did a lot of boxing for this fight and he was prepared for that inside fight range. He knew when Cody was throwing hard he would be exposed and he was right, it was pretty masterful game plan.”
Finally the former trainer said,
“I feel like Cody Garbrandt properly conditioned is…because the hands down are something he got away with for a long time because of his speed and his reflexes. I feel like that’s based a lot on conditioning as well. To be able to know where you’re heads at and to be able to have reflexes the more tired you get. I think the defensive thing is a technical issue for sure, but it’s also a training issue; a cardio issue.”