Category Archives: Cody Garbrandt

Ex-UFC champ T.J. Dillashaw talks about why drama always seems to find him

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Former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw isn’t quite sure why drama seems to follow him everywhere.

From his public fallout and feud with Team Alpha Male, to his failed attempt to get a flyweight title shot, to would-be contenders taking verbal jabs, there’s always something to talk about.

“I don’t know – maybe it’s just me getting out there and being around everyone,” Dillashaw told MMAjunkie Radio. “Jimmie Rivera’s talking about sparring footage we had back in the day, and the past with me and Alpha Male, there’s going to be stuff there.

“It almost sounds like jealousy, really. It’s gotten kind of childish and really embarrassing with how obsessed Alpha Male has gotten with my career.”

Things are unlikely to settle down now that Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) is officially rebooked to fight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) at UFC 217, a do-over after Garbrandt withdrew from their highly anticipated grudge match at UFC 213.

Garbrandt and Dillashaw served as opposing coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter 25” and repeatedly clashed on the set, with Garbrandt once physically assaulting his ex-training partner.

When Dillashaw met with a few ex-teammates after the show to hash things out, Garbrandt wasn’t in attendance.

“I think it’s just all circumstances and the position I’m in,” Dillashaw said. “I’m on top, and I’m looking to get my belt back. People, I think, are just a little bit jealous of the lifestyle and what I’m trying to accomplish.”

UFC 217 takes place Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The event’s main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Dillashaw lost the title at the start of 2016 with a split-decision loss to Dominick Cruz. He’s since beaten top contenders Raphael Assuncao and John Lineker to put himself back in title contention. It’s been a rocky road to get a second shot at the belt. Garbrandt’s injury prompted him to volunteer for a fight with flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson, only to be rebuffed when Johnson declined the offer.

If Dillashaw is able to take the title from Garbrandt, it would be the validation of nearly two years of work toward a comeback. Then he could look forward to the real drama of keeping the belt.

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of MMAjunkie.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Bisping-GSP, Garbrandt-Dillashaw title fights among 7 official for UFC 217

Two championship belts will be on the line when the UFC makes its second visit this November to the famous Madison Square Garden in New York.

In the main event of the Nov. 4 pay-per-view lineup (which follows prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass), Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) will defend the UFC middleweight championship against Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC). Bantamweight titleholder Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) takes on rival T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) in the co-headliner.

Both title bouts were confirmed on Tuesday’s episode of “UFC Tonight” on FS1.

The matchup between Bisping and St-Pierre has been an on-again, off-again mess after it was announced in March that former UFC welterweight champion St-Pierre would end his nearly 4-year hiatus to fight Bisping, despite never having competed at 185 pounds.

St-Pierre hasn’t fought since 2013, when he notched his ninth consecutive welterweight title defense with a split-decision victory over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167. St-Pierre then vacated the title and took a break from competition. After St-Pierre recently flirted with a return, UFC officials announced earlier this year that the 36-year-old Canadian MMA great would fight Bisping sometime later in the year.

However, St-Pierre then said he could not fight until at least November due to outside commitments, and an irked UFC President Dana White later said the fight was off. Bisping was then slated to fight top contender Yoel Romero.

But when Bisping subsequently revealed a knee injury (while St-Pierre declared a lingering eye issue), Plan B for Bisping-Romero also was scrapped. Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) then lost a decision to fellow contender Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) for an interim title earlier this month at UFC 213.

White suggested a knee injury recently suffered by Whittaker opened the door for St-Pierre to cut the line.

With Whittaker the challenger in waiting, White said in July that St-Pierre would instead fight the winner of this past Saturday’s UFC 214 co-headliner between current welterweight champ Tyron Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) and challenger Demian Maia (25-7 MMA, 19-7 UFC). However, with Woodley’s heavily panned unanimous-decision win over Maia, that apparently opened the door for St-Pierre vs. Bisping once again.

Garbrandt and Dillashaw have a tenuous history after being teammates for several years at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif. Dillashaw unceremoniously left the gym to train with striking coach Duane Ludwig in Colorado, and the disdain with former teammates such as Garbrandt and Urijah Faber has grown thicker ever since.

The feud grew deeper when the pair served as opposing coaches on Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series. Dillashaw handled Garbrandt in the coaching aspect, seeing a greater number of his fighters advance through the tournament, with Jesse Taylor ultimately winning the tournament crown.

Garbrandt was forced to withdraw from their planned UFC 213 bout in July due to a back injury that required treatment. He’s been rehabbing since and is ready to go for UFC 217.

Also confirmed for UFC 217 was a heavyweight bout between Curtis Blaydes (7-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and Aleksei Oleinik (52-10-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC), a light-heavyweight showdown between Corey Anderson (9-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and Patrick Cummins (10-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) and a bantamweight bout between Ricardo Ramos (10-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and Aiemann Zahabi (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC).

The latest UFC 217 lineup now includes:

  • Champ Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre – for middleweight title
  • Champ Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw – for bantamweight title
  • Paulo Borrachinha vs. Johny Hendricks
  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Aleksei Oleinik
  • Corey Anderson vs. Patrick Cummins
  • Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs. Ion Cutelaba
  • Ricardo Ramos vs. Aiemann Zahabi

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Cody Garbrandt-Aljamain Sterling Twitter beef spirals out of control with racism accusations

Conor McGregor got himself into hot water during last when he repeatedly referred to Floyd Mayweather as “boy” during their world tour.

Was Cody Garbrandt not paying attention?

The UFC bantamweight champion got involved in a Twitter beef with Aljamain Sterling over the weekend, which started as a typical Twitter beef between UFC fighters but quickly spiraled out of control with accusations of racism (via Twitter):

Right here, when Garbrandt called Sterling “boy,” is where things got ugly. Sterling even started responding to others chiming in. Garbrandt defended his trash-talk.

Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) hasn’t fought since winning the belt from Dominick Cruz last December at UFC 207. He’s scheduled for his first title defense at November’s UFC 217 vs. rival T.J. Dillashaw.

Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), meanwhile, is fresh off the biggest win of his career last month, defeating ex-champion Renan Barao via unanimous decision at UFC 214.

If Garbrandt and Sterling cross paths in the future, a story line already is built in.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Source: MMA Junkie

T.J. Dillashaw: 'Fingers crossed nothing happens' to stop UFC 217 title fight vs. Cody Garbrandt

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UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt made headlines last week when he tweeted he would be fighting T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 217.

For his part, Dillashaw today told MMAjunkie there still is no bout agreement but is hopeful “that’s what’s going to be going down” Nov. 4 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

“Fingers crossed nothing happens,” Dillashaw said. “I’m ready tomorrow, man. I’ve been staying in the gym. That’s what I love to do. I feel lazy when I’m not in the gym. So, yeah, I’m ready to go at 217. And just the fact to be able to fight in Madison Square Garden seems like a huge event.”

It’s shaping up that way with the scheduled return of Georges St-Pierre, who will come out of retirement to fight Michael Bisping for the middleweight championship. A bout between Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) and Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) would add a second title fight to the card.

Garbrandt and Dillashaw have a tenuous history after being teammates for several years at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif. Dillashaw unceremoniously left the gym to train with striking coach Duane Ludwig in Colorado, and the disdain with former teammates has grown thicker ever since.

The feud grew deeper when the pair served as opposing coaches on Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series earlier this year, won by Team Dillashaw’s Jesse Taylor.

Garbrandt was forced to withdraw from their planned UFC 213 bout in July due to a back injury. That caused Dillashaw to seek a shot at Demetrious Johnson’s flyweight title as a backup plan, a fight that UFC President Dana White was on board with booking.

Johnson, who will be going for a record 11th straight UFC title defense, hated the idea, citing the fact that Dillshaw never has competed at 125 pounds. Instead, Johnson will face Ray Borg at next month’s UFC 215.

How things unfolded is just as well with Dillashaw. He’s wanted a shot at Garbrandt all along.

“This is the fight I ultimately wanted,” Dillashaw said. “That was kind of like going for a consolation prize. If I couldn’t get my belt at (135), I want a belt. And I felt like it was a big, hyped-up fight I could’ve pushed with Demetrious. Unfortunately he did not want that. Unfortunately he’s too cerebral of a fighter.

“He knows that’s not a good fight for him and wouldn’t accept it. He’s real worried about this record he needs to break. Go ahead and let him do that, I guess.”

To hear more from Dillashaw, check out the video above.

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Champ Cody Garbrandt says he's fighting T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden

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After one of the biggest fights of the summer between UFC bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt and former champ T.J. Dillashaw fell apart due to injury, the grudge match apparently is back on for the fall.

Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) today announced he will put his title on the line against Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) at UFC 217, which is scheduled for Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass (via Twitter):

UFC officials have not formally announced the contest.

Garbrandt and Dillashaw have a tenuous history after being teammates for several years at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif. Dillashaw unceremoniously left the gym to train with striking coach Duane Ludwig in Colorado, and the disdain with former teammates such as Garbrandt and Urijah Faber has grown thicker ever since.

The feud grew deeper when the pair served as opposing coaches on Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series. Dillashaw handled Garbrandt in the coaching partner, seeing a greater number of his fighters advance through the tournament with Jesse Taylor ultimately winning the tournament crown.

Garbrandt was forced to withdraw from their planned UFC 213 bout in July due to a back injury that required treatment. He’s been rehabbing since and is apparently ready to go for UFC 217.

With the addition of the 135-pound title fight, the latest UFC 217 lineup now includes.

  • Champ Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre – for middleweight title
  • Champ Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw – for bantamweight title
  • Paulo Borrachinha vs. Johny Hendricks

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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T.J. Dillashaw refocused on Cody Garbrandt, stunned Demetrious Johnson chose Ray Borg

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LAS VEGAS – Former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw has abandoned plans to fight flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson and is refocused on getting his title back at 135 pounds.

The question Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) is facing now is how long he’ll have to wait for bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC), who was forced out of their grudge match at UFC 213 with a back injury.

“I’m willing to wait for him,” Dillashaw said. “I can’t wait forever. I’ve got to sit down and have a more serious conversation. I just heard in an interview that Cody wouldn’t fight until November or December, and I was hoping October.”

Dillashaw most recently dispatched John Lineker at UFC 207 this past December, bringing his current win streak to two after the loss of his belt to Dominick Cruz, who was subsequently beaten by Garbrandt.

Dillashaw said the UFC offered Johnson more money “than he’s ever seen” to fight him instead of Ray Borg, but Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC), citing a lack of respect and willingness to meet additional financial demands, refused to accept.

Asked whether he could understand Johnson’s hesitancy given that he was once passed over for a title shot in favor of Garbrandt, Dillashaw said his empathy only goes so far.

“The fact is, he’s fighting Ray Borg,” Dillashaw said. “Me getting leaped over is a way bigger leap-over than me leaping over Ray Borg to fight Demetrious Johnson. Cody was ranked No. 8, and I was beating No. 1 contenders. Ray Borg has missed weight half his UFC career and has beaten, what, two guys – are they in the top 10? I don’t know what his credentials are to get that title fight. I feel like mine were a lot higher.

“Even though I haven’t fought in the weight class, I feel like it was a perfect time for me to jump in the weight class. It wasn’t like I was cutting the line. Demetrious has ran through everyone.”

Dillashaw doesn’t rule out the possibility of dropping weight to vie for the flyweight belt if he’s successful against Garbrandt. But right now, he’s more concerned about getting Garbrandt to sign on the dotted line.

A conversation with UFC President Dana White is something the ex-champ hopes will clear the air.

Watch the interview above to get Dillashaw’s thoughts on his ill-fated drop to flyweight, a new dialogue with his estranged teammate from Team Alpha Male following “The Ultimate Fighter 25,” and more.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Episode No. 11 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption'

Episode No. 11 of “The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption” opens with focus on the upcoming semifinal matchups, which pits two pairs of Team Dillashaw fighters against one another, with Dhiego Lima vs. Tom Gallicchio and James Krause vs. Jesse Taylor

There’s concern about the condition of Krause’s eye, though, because he suffered a scratched cornea in the quarterfinal round. UFC President Dana White informs coach Cody Garbrandt that if Krause is not ready to go he can bring back any member of his team to the competition.

Team Dillashaw is not pleased with White’s decision. Ramsey Nijem in particular thinks he should get another opportunity and is complaining about the situation, which irritates Gilbert Smith. The Team Dillashaw members get into somewhat of a heated argument, but the tension eventually fizzles.

Preparation for the first semifinal between Lima and Gallicchio begins. As has been the case for all the matchups between Team Dillashaw fighters, head coach T.J. Dillashaw gives both fighters maximum attention in the training room. However, he won’t appear in either corner during the fight to remain impartial.

During a break in training, the team Dillashaw fighters and coaching staff overtake the Team Garbrandt locker room. They paint the walls blue, which represents their team color and hang Team Dillashaw signs and photos on the walls.

Once Team Garbrandt arrives at the gym, they tear down all the photos and write, “Snake Free Zone” on the walls.

Back at the “TUF” house, Krause is beginning to grow frustrated with his surrounding fighters. He’s constantly being asked about the condition of his eye and whether he will be able to compete. It turns into an argument with Team Garbrandt’s Johnny Nunez, which goes on for several minutes.

During the next Team Garbrandt training session, coach Dillashaw sneaks into the locker room with a number of live snakes in his possession. He places them in the center of the locker room, which turns into a comical scene once Team Garbrandt returns from training.

At the official weigh-ins, Lima and Gallicchio come in under the required 171-pound welterweight limit. A friendly staredown follows, with both fighters smiling as they pose.

Fight day arrives, and after warmups take place in the locker rooms, both fighters enter the octagon for the first “TUF 25” semifinal bout.

Team Dillashaw’s Dhiego Lima (12-5) vs. Team Dillashaw’s Tom Gallicchio (19-9)

Round 1 – Gallicchio opens with leg kicks and is pumping his jab. Lima pops him with a straight shot up the middle and is moving around the octagon as Gallicchio is more flat-footed. Lima lands a hard body kick, but Gallicchio keeps pushing forward. Gallicchio is looking to close the distance, but Lima is keeping his range. Gallicchio shoots for his first takedown, but it’s easily stuffed. Gallicchio is throwing hooks while Lima connects with better straight punches. Lima nearly misses with a hard right hand; Gallicchio is responding with decent shots at every turn. The pace of the striking is picking up, and Lima shuts down another takedown attempt. Lima lands a nice overhand right. Gallicchio shoots again, but Lima sprawls. Lima is finding his range on the feet, which is beginning to pose issues for Gallicchio. Both sides pick their shots over the final minute of the round, but nothing decisive lands.

Round 2 – Gallicchio shoots for a takedown right away and gets in deep on it. Lima rejects him, though, and lands a powerful knee to the face of Gallicchio on the break. Gallicchio isn’t deterred and keeps moving forward. He’s taking combinations from Lima, which forces him into another takedown attempt. He nearly grounds Lima but can’t get control on the floor. They fight along the fence before Lima escapes. Lima snaps Gallicchio’s head back with a right cross, and he’s gaining confidence. Gallicchio looks to be slowing down and eats a partially blocked head kick as a result. Lima is landing dynamic striking combinations and working Gallicchio’s legs with kicks. Gallicchio changes levels for another takedown, but Lima isn’t having any of it. Lima grabs the fence to stop a takedown, which causes referee Herb Dean to stop the action. He takes one point away from Lima, changing the entire dynamic of the fight. Both fighters have a little more urgency, and Gallicchio shoots for a takedown. It’s not even close, and he absorbs more hard strikes. Lima is picking Gallicchio apart over the final minute until the horn sounds.

Round 3 – They hug to start the round and then Lima blasts off a body kick. Gallicchio’s takedown attempts continue to be denied by Lima, who is seeing everything coming in the striking and grappling departments. Gallicchio lands an overhand right, which is probably his best strike of the fight, but Lima is not rattled. Gallicchio has more of his takedown attempts stuffed and is visibly exhausted. Lima begins to batter him with punches, which causes referee Dean to warn him to fight back. Gallicchio’s takedown attempts have nothing on them at this point, which allows Lima to stock him around the octagon and land punches at will. Gallicchio gets deep on the legs as Lima gets overly aggressive and for the first time in the fight has solid top position. Lima attempts to kick his opponent off but Gallicchio has strong grappling and sticks to him. Lima is fighting hard to stand up, but Gallicchio takes side control. Lima finally scrambles up to his feet, and Gallicchio has almost nothing left in the tank. Gallicchio goes for one final takedown, but it’s thwarted. Lima shoots for his own takedown in the final seconds and finishes the fight on top, pounding Gallicchio with strikes.

Dhiego Lima def. Tom Gallicchio via unanimous decision

Lima becomes the first fighter to advance to the “TUF 25” tournament finals, and perhaps more impressively, becomes the first athlete in the history of the reality series to make it to the finals twice.

He lost to Eddie Gordon in the “TUF 19” finals, but Lima isn’t planning to have history repeat itself.

“I feel great; I’m back in the finals,” Lima says after his win. “This is what I came here for. Now it’s time to take it home.”

Lima received praise from coach Dillashaw for his accomplishment.

“Dhiego’s had a great attitude this entire season,” Dillashaw says. “So I’m happy for him. A good human being is moving on to the finals, and I’m happy for him.”

Lima will compete at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale on July 7, and his opponent will be decided on the next episode when Taylor fights either Krause or his yet-to-be-determined injury replacement.

Also see:

 

Catch new episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption” every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on FS1. MMAjunkie recaps each episode of the reality series.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Episode No. 10 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption'

Episode No. 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption” opens with official weigh-ins for the upcoming quarterfinal bout between Team Dillashaw’s Jesse Taylor and Team Garbrandt’s Hayder Hassan.

Before things can get started, though, head coaches Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw begin a verbal back-and-forth stemming from Dillashaw’s new T-shirt design, which features a snake around the “Killashaw” slogan. Garbrandt criticizes the shirt, but Dillashaw doesn’t appear bothered.

“I told Cody he’s so obsessed with me he might as well hold on to my pocket and follow me around, make Cody my (expletive),” Dillashaw says. “He’s so into what I have going on in my life. I could care less what he’s doing.”

Team Garbrandt assistant coach Justin Buchholz joins the conversation, telling Dillashaw that he “left the team in (expletive) shambles” when he parted ways with Team Alpha Male and went to train with Duane Ludwig in Colorado.

“I love Team Alpha Male, I really do,” Garbrandt says. “It saved my life and I’ll defend that as many times as I can. It’s Team Alpha Male against everybody and T.J. and Duane are on the chopping blocks and I’m ready to cut the snake’s head off.”

Weigh-ins for the fight take place, and both Taylor and Hassan come in under the required 171-pound welterweight limit, making the third tournament quarterfinal official. The bickering between the coaches continues but cooler heads eventually prevail.

Fight day arrives. Both fighters finalize preparation with their coaches backstage at the “TUF” gym, and finally, the competition continues.

Team Dillashaw’s Jesse Taylor (30-15) vs. Team Garbrandt’s Hayder Hassan (6-3)

Round 1 – Hassan opens with a front kick which narrowly misses and Taylor fires back with a body kick. Taylor changes levels to attempt a takedown and chains several moves together before planting Hassan on the mat. Taylor quickly takes the back of his opponent and is working for a choke. Hassan spins out, but finds himself back within Taylor’s grip and is slammed to the canvas again. Taylor steps over into mount and is peppering Hassan with short punches. Taylor finally gets into an appropriate position to lock in the rear-naked choke and Hassan is doing everything he can to survive. Taylor finally secures it and Hassan is forced to tap out to the submission.

Jesse Taylor def. Hayder Hassan via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1

Taylor becomes the third fighter to advance to the semifinal round, joining Team Dillashaw teammates Tom Gallicchio and Dhiego Lima. All Team Garbrandt fighters have officially been eliminated from the competition, which is a joyous moment for coach Dillashaw.

“It was such a great feeling to know all of Team Garbrandt is gone,” Dillashaw says. “I did my job, I came here to do what I was supposed to do. I don’t want to be a jerk about it but it’s definitely a great feeling to shut Cody out and shut his mouth.”

Scenes immediately shift to weigh-ins for the fourth and final quarterfinal tournament bout, which will pit Team Dillashaw’s James Krause against Team Dillashaw’s Ramsey Nijem. Both fighters come in under the required 171-pound welterweight limit. A tense staredown follows.

Fight day arrives. Both fighters finalize preparation with their coaches backstage at the “TUF” gym, and the competition continues.

Team Dillashaw’s James Krause (23-7) vs. Team Dillashaw’s Ramsey Nijem (9-6)

Round 1 – Krause opens with a low kick but Nijem pressures forward with wild striking combinations. Krause times one of the punches and ducks under the complete an easy double leg takedown. Krause is swarming from on top and attempting to establish a dominant position. He’s landing short punches but Nijem does a good job keeping himself out of a danger from the bottom. Nijem attempts to kick his opponent off but ends up giving up his back. He scrambles and gets back up to his feet but eats a pair of clinch knees for his troubles. Nijem continues to push forward with his strikes and Krause is looking to counter. Both sides eat hard shots before Krause initiates the clinch again and drags his opponent down to the canvas. Krause can’t do much on the mat before Nijem finds his way back to the feet. Krause is standing on the outside throwing a lot of kicks while Nijem attacks with punches. Nijem completes a takedown new the end of the round but there’s not enough time to do anything with it.

Round 2 – The pace is slower to start the second round. Nijem is beginning to find his range with the punches while Krause attempts to counterstrike. Nijem goes for another takedown and lands a number of hard punches on Krause as he puts him down. Nijem gets too aggressive, though, and falls over the top of Krause into bottom position. Krause is riding out the position and attempting to take the back but Nijem stands back up. Nijem is connecting more and more with his punches then takes Krause down again. Nijem opens a cut on Krause’s forehead and inflicting some solid damage to the eye. Krause fights his way back up but drops down for a guillotine choke which is easily escaped by Nijem. He spends a solid amount of time on top before Krause returns to his feet. Nijem holds Krause against the fence until time expires.

Round 3 – Both men are exhausted but Krause does a nice job pumping the jab early. He lands an uppercut as well but Nijem explodes into a takedown. He can’t keep Krause down, though, and ends up in a headlock position. Krause reverses onto the back and is working to get his forearm under the neck for a choke. Nijem turns over and has Krause on top of him in the guard. Krause is riding out the position and battering Nijem with more solid strikes. Krause spends several minutes on top before Nijem finally gets to his feet with less than 60 seconds remaining. Nijem attacks aggressive and puts Krause on his back with another takedown. Nijem is unleashing everything he can in the waining seconds but time expires with Krause attempting a guillotine choke.

James Krause def. Ramsey Nijem via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Krause becomes the fourth and final fighter to advance to the semifinals. UFC President Dana White invites both coaches into his office to deliberate the semifinal matchups.

White reveals that Krause may not be able to compete in the next round because of damage sustained to his eye, which is swollen almost entirely shut. A replacement will be brought in if that’s the case, but Krause will get a few days to recover before a decision is made.

After some discussions, the matchups are decided: Dhiego Lima vs. Tom Gallicchio and James Krause vs. Jesse Taylor.

Also see:

Catch new episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption” every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on FS1. MMAjunkie recaps each episode of the reality series.

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Episode No. 9 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption'

Episode No. 9 of “The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption” opens with focus on the upcoming quarterfinal fight, which pits Team Dillashaw teammates Dhiego Lima and Gilbert Smith against one another.

Before preparation for the fight begins, head coach T.J. Dillashaw informs both fighters that, unlike some coaches in past seasons, he’s not going to step aside for the upcoming fight. Dillashaw says he will help train both fighters and inform them on each other’s strengths and weaknesses so they perform at their best.

Dillashaw will not appear in the corner of either athlete, but they are on board with having his guidance during the short preparation window.

At the next Team Garbrandt training session, coach Cody Garbrandt and his assistant coaching staff decide to gear up the pranks. They use tape to deface all the posters of Dillashaw around the “TUF” gym and write “Dickasnake” under several of his pictures, as well.

Coach Dillashaw arrives at the gym later that day with his team and sees the posters for the first time. He says he’s not offended, but hints that he will need to come up with a strong comeback.

Later that night, Coach Garbrandt arrives at the “TUF” house with a party bus parked outside. He informs all the fighters they are being taken out for a complimentary steak dinner, and with only limited chances to get out into the general public, the fighters are excited.

Not everyone is thrilled with the situation, though. As most of the fighters are loosening up and having drinks, Smith is keeping to himself and trying to remain focused on the fight. Smith’s attitude carries over into dinner, and his fellow fighters are confused as to why he can’t relax.

“Don’t get me wrong I love the food, I love getting out of the house – I just wasn’t really excited to party and dance and drink and act stupid,” Smith says. “Don’t get me wrong – people do that, they’ve got to let loose and have fun. To each their own. But to me, at the end of the day, I want to celebrate after something I have to celebrate for.”

Training for the upcoming fight resumes, and there’s no secrets between opponents Lima and Smith. The pair share the gym during preparation with the coaching staff providing advice on how to win while within earshot of the other athlete.

Weigh-ins for the fight take place, and both Lima and Smith come in under the required 171-pound welterweight limit, making the second tournament quarterfinal official. A respectful staredown follows.

Fight day arrives. Both fighters finalize preparation with their coaches backstage at the “TUF” gym, and finally, the competition continues.

Team Dillashaw’s Dhiego Lima (12-5) vs. Team Dillashaw’s Gilbert Smith (12-6)

Round 1 – Lima opens with a right body kick and Smith fires back with a leg kick. Lima pumps his jab while Smith tries to come over the top with looping hooks. Lima throws a head kick and Smith charges in to push him against the fence, but Lima evades. Smith lands another hard leg kick followed by a straight left punch. They trade more kicks, and Smith catches one and tries to turn it into a takedown. Lima defends the initial entry but Smith has him pinned against the fence and drags him down to the floor. He can’t establish a dominant position, though, and Lima works his way back to the feet. He reverses positions then changes levels into a takedown of his own. Smith gives up his back and Lima works for the rear-naked choke. Lima nearly has the forearm under the neck but Smith fights the hands. Lima lets go and begins peppering his opponent with punches to create an opening. Smith stands up and turns out, but then immediately shoots for a takedown and trips Lima to the floor. Smith is holding on as Lima attempts to stay active from the back. Smith steps over into mount and hammers Lima with hard punches. Lima stands up and frees himself then throws a head kick that’s blocked just before the horn.

Round 2 – Lima throws a body kick but it lands to the forearms of Smith. Smith fires back with a multi-strike combination which causes his opponent to retreat. Smith is stepping forward with big shots but he can’t land anything clean. Lima uses a Smith attack to turn him against the fence. He works for a takedown but Smith is too powerful. Lima breaks the position and moves back to the center of the octagon. Smith is opening up big time with his strikes but Lima doesn’t appear rattled by the power. Lima lands a short left hook during an exchange and Smith shoots for another takedown. He gets it and within seconds has Lima’s back. Lima easily stands up, though, and pushes Smith off him. Both men are exchanging punches but Smith is more active and landing the better shots. He shoots in for another trip takedown but overcommits and Lima sprawls then transitions to the back. Smith stands up and the fight is back on its feet. Lima lands a huge punch which backs Smith up, but he survives. They continue to trade before Lima attempts yet another takedown. It doesn’t work and they trade strikes until the horn.

The judges declare the fight a draw after two rounds, and for the first time this season, a sudden-victory round comes into play.

Round 3 – Lima, who appears to be the fresher fighter, opens the round with a body kick. Smith throws his hands back but it’s clear he’s tired because his defensive guard is low. Smith is still winging shots, but Lima it peppering him with the jab and body punches. Smith tags Lima with a combination but eats a pair of strikes in return. Each side appears to have found his range but the power isn’t quite there. Lima shoots for a takedown, which works, and he lands right in mount. Lima lands punches from on top and Smith gives up his back. Lima is working for the rear-naked choke but is too high on the back and Smith defends well. Smith explodes his position and rolls over into top control. Lima quickly gets his legs up, though, and locks in a triangle choke. He adjusts the angle and locks it in deep, but Smith is surviving. Lima loses the choke, leaving Smith in top position to land punches. Lima attempts to isolate and arm for a kimura but he doesn’t have the energy to threaten it. He gives up his back, but uses it as a trick to reverse into top position. Smith kicks Lima off and both fighters throw wild shots until the horn.

Dhiego Lima def. Gilbert Smith via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

After a razor-close fight, Lima takes the decision. Coach Dillashaw says he agrees with the call, and Lima is jubilant to be one win away from his second appearance in the finals of a “TUF” tournament.

“I feel good, man,” Lima says. “I’m heading to the semifinals again. It was a great fight. I’m excited. I feel really great. I have no doubt I can win this whole thing. This is what I came here for. This next round is the one to make it to the finals. No one is stopping me. I’m leaving it all out in the cage and I’m taking.”

Following the loss, Smith says he’s going to retire from MMA competition after a more than six-year career. He shares a moment with the coaches and fighters from both sides before leaving his gloves in the center of the octagon.

“I’ve been fighting and competing for a long time,” Smith says. “I kind of feel like I’m not there anymore. I don’t have the same passion. So, today was the day that I walk away from mixed martial arts. I thought the best way to do it was with these guys.”

Lima joins Team Dillashaw’s Tom Gallicchio in the semifinals, and with just two quarterfinal bouts remaining, the next episode will see Team Dillashaw’s Jesse Taylor fight Team Garbrandt’s Hayder Hassan while Team Dillashaw’s James Krause takes on Team Dillashaw’s Ramsey Nijem.

Also see:

Catch new episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption” every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on FS1. MMAjunkie recaps each episode of the reality series.

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Episode No. 8 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption'

Episode No. 8 of “The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption” opens with fight preparation for Team Garbrandt’s Hayder Hassan, who meets Team Dillashaw’s Joe Stevenson in the special wild card fight later in the episode.

Hassan was eliminated by Dhiego Lima on Episode No. 4, while Stevenson was bounced by Justin Edwards on Episode No. 7. The season is labeled “Redemption” for a reason, though, and both fighters were brought back for another chance to advance in the tournament and earn the $250,000 prize.

Stevenson’s preparation with Team Dillashaw must be tailored with a particular amount of caution, though, because “Joe Daddy” is just six days removed from the bout with Edwards. He wasn’t badly beaten up in the decision loss, and as a longtime veteran of the sport, Stevenson feels he’s more capable than any other cast member to make a quick turnaround.

There has never been a two-time winner of “TUF,” but Stevenson wants to make history and be the first.

Weigh-ins for the fight take place, and both Hassan and Stevenson come in under the required 171-pound welterweight limit, making the eighth tournament fight official.

Fight day arrives, and the athletes are ready for the eighth and final opening-round tournament bout. Both fighters finalize preparation with their coaches backstage at the “TUF” gym, and finally the competition continues.

Team Dillashaw’s Joe Stevenson (33-16) vs. Team Garbrandt’s Hayder Hassan (6-3)

Round 1 – Hassan opens with a body kick that lands on the arms of his opponent. Stevenson changes levels for a takedown, but Hassan easily brushes him off and keeps his space. Stevenson is looking to close the distance and create a grappling or clinch scenario, but Hassan perfectly times his aggression and launches a right uppercut that blasts Stevenson on the chin. Stevenson immediately goes down and Hassan lands a pair of hammerfists to his fallen opponent before the referee dives in to halt the action just 18 second in.

Hayden Hassan def. Joe Stevenson via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:18

After the fight, coach Cody Garbrandt immediately rips opposing coach T.J. Dillashaw for allowing Stevenson to compete in another bout just six days after his previous contest.

“It was bittersweet,” Garbrandt says. “Hayder’s a knockout artist, I’m a big fan of Hayder, but it was bittersweet seeing Joe get knocked out. I told T.J. that was going to happen. He was in a fight six days before that that he was pretty hurt in. I don’t know if that contributed to that, but it definitely didn’t help him out.”

Nevertheless, Hassan wins the wildcard fight and becomes the second Team Garbrandt fighter to advance to the quarterfinals, joining Edwards. Team Dillashaw, meanwhile, has six fighters in the next round.

UFC President Dana White decides on the four quarterfinal matchups, which shape up as follows:

Fight preparation begins for the opening quarterfinal, which will see Team Dillashaw’s Gallicchio take on Team Garbrandt’s Edwards. It’s one of two matchups that will pit opposing team members against one another, and both fighters are thankful they don’t have to deal with a teammate vs. teammate situation – at least not yet.

With a break in training, it’s time for the annual “Coaches Challenge.” This season, head coaches Dillashaw and Garbrandt clash in a game of water tetherball. The winning coach receives $10,000 while each member of the their team gets a $1,500 prize.

Both fighters admit they have minimal experience playing tetherball and Dillashaw falls into the water before the game even begins. Garbrandt takes a dominant 8-4 lead in the game up to 10, but Dillashaw stages a huge rally to tie it at 8 apiece.

Dillashaw completes his comeback of six consecutive points and pulls off the victory. He wins the prize for himself and his team, and Dillashaw says of Garbrandt, “I watched him give up.”

Weigh-ins for the fight take place, and both Gallicchio and Edwards come in under the required 171-pound welterweight limit, making the first tournament quarterfinal official.

Fight day arrives, and the athletes are ready for the quarterfinals to begin. Both fighters finalize preparation with their coaches backstage at the “TUF” gym, and finally, the competition continues.

Team Dillashaw’s Tom Gallicchio (19-9) vs. Team Garbrandt’s Justin Edwards (9-5) – quarterfinal

Round 1 – Gallicchio opens with a right hand, but Edwards come back with a crisp combination. Gallicchio walks forward but is eating shots every time he moves in Edwards’ direction. Edwards tags Gallicchio with more clean punches before a right hand catches him hard on the chin and drops Gallicchio to the canvas. Gallicchio bounces up and immediately dives at the legs of Edwards, who sprawls. Edwards grabs the neck and drops for a guillotine choke, but he’s too high on the neck and Gallicchio manages to escape the position. A scramble ensues, and Gallicchio comes out on Edwards’ back. He locks in the body triangle before working the neck for a rear-naked choke. Gallicchio gets his hands in proper position and squeezes hard on the submission, forcing Edwards to tap out.

Tom Gallicchio def. Justin Edwards via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1

Gallicchio becomes the first fighter to advance to the semifinals and is pleased with how he’s performed in the competition thus far.

“It’s pretty amazing; I was broke, dead broke,” Gallicchio says. “I didn’t know where the next meal was coming from sometimes. It’s unreal (to win two finishing bonuses). I’m going to be smart, I’m going to invest it and buy some more candy machines, and get them out there.”

Also see:

Catch new episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption” every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on FS1. MMAjunkie recaps each episode of the reality series.

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