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A full history of what happened between TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt

UFC 217: Cody Garbrandt vs TJ Dillashaw
UFC 217: Cody Garbrandt vs TJ Dillashaw
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TJ Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt has to be one of the ugliest feuds in UFC history. The rivalry involves bad blood, personal history, a scandal and two championship fights - basically every single ingredient to produce an instant-classic conflict.

It may not have the same level of hype that a Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier or a Conor McGregor-Khabib Nurmagomedov have, but this rivalry is as intense as any the sport has ever seen.

But how did the pair of teammates become bitter enemies? Find out as we take a deep dive into the timeline of events in the tale of Team Alpha Male's sibling rivalry.

December 18, 2012: Duane Ludwig becomes head coach of Team Alpha Male

Despite his shortcomings as a UFC fighter, Duane Ludwig proved his knowledge of the fight game is second to none when he became the head coach of Team Alpha Male. Fresh off retirement, the welterweight stalwart established himself as one of the best coaches in MMA.

Ludwig transformed Team Alpha Male from a gym known for boasting serviceable contenders to a force to be reckoned with in the UFC. With Ludwig taking over, the California-based fight stable went on a 17-fight undefeated streak.

February 1, 2014: Urijah Faber falls to Renan Barao

Team Alpha Male was on a roll. But despite all the success and notoriety they have enjoyed, its members were not able to bring home the gold.

Urijah Faber, the Team Alpha Male patriarch, had the opportunity to change that against then-UFC bantamweight champ Renan Barao. But just like his brothers, Faber failed to get the job done.

March 19, 2014: Duane Ludwig departs from Team Alpha Male

Ludwig told MMA Junkie that he met with Faber to reveal his plans to return to his home state of Colorado and establish his own gym. To his surprise, however, Faber didn't take kindly to his news.

Ludwig supposedly assured Faber that he was going to complete the training camps that were already lined up. But 'The California Kid' went ahead and immediately told the whole team about Ludwig's departure, without the coach's knowledge. Since then, it was apparent that the relationship was beyond repair.

May 24, 2014: TJ Dillashaw avenges his mentor

Team Alpha Male finally had its first taste of championship success when TJ Dillashaw defeated Barao to become UFC bantamweight champion. Coming into UFC 173 as a +650 underdog, Dillashaw did the unthinkable by dominating the Brazilian to capture the elusive gold.

Read here: What do Cody Garbrandt's Tattoos mean?

January 3, 2015: Cody Garbrandt makes his UFC debut

As the old Team Alpha Male stars slowly drifted away from the spotlight, a new one emerged when Cody Garbrandt made his octagon debut at UFC182. With only a few years of pro-MMA experience, Garbrandt earned a statement win, knocking out Marcus Brimage.

July 25, 2015: TJ Dillashaw defends his title against Renan Barao

TJ Dillashaw successfully defended his crown against Barao in a rematch. He put his Brazilian rival away via TKO in the fourth round. The performance proved that his win over Barao was no fluke. And in doing so, Dillashaw accomplished something that his mentor, Faber, wasn't able to do.

July 2015: 'Mystic Mac' adds fuel to the fire

The Ultimate Fighter season 22 featured Faber and Conor McGregor as opposing coaches. Though the two would not cross paths in the octagon, the Irishman did his part to bring attention to Faber and Dillashaw's deteriorating relationship.

Ahead of a photo shoot that included Faber, Dillashaw and Garbrandt, 'The Notorious' accused Dillashaw of stabbing Faber in the back by deciding to train with Ludwig. Faber dismissed McGregor's comments but 'Mystic Mac's' prophecy would later unfold.

October 6, 2015: TJ Dillashaw leaves Team Alpha Male

The writing was on the wall but TJ Dillashaw's departure from Team Alpha Male left no doubt in everybody's minds that he was at odds with Faber. Where would Dillashaw take his talents to? You guessed it... Ludwig's Elevation Fight Team in Colorado.

January 17, 2016: Dominick Cruz dethrones TJ Dillashaw

Dominick Cruz beats TJ Dillashaw
Dominick Cruz beats TJ Dillashaw

After leaving the drama behind, TJ Dillashaw was poised to go on a dynastic championship run. However, the biggest villain in Team Alpha Male's existence came back to haunt the stable's prodigal son. Dominick Cruz, who has a long history with Faber, reclaimed the UFC bantamweight title against Dillashaw via a split decision.

May 19, 2016: Urijah Faber insinuates that TJ Dillashaw uses PEDs

Cruz and Faber appeared together on an episode of The Herd with Colin Cowherd. 'The Dominator' asked his rival why he was avoiding his former pupil, Dillashaw. What started as a heated back-and-forth between the two rivals quickly turned into a scandalous affair when Faber said:

"I fought TJ Dillashaw for eight years every day. Dude, I always smoked TJ Dillashaw. He looks like a pre-pubescent little teenager right now because USADA came in."

December 30, 2016: Cody Garbrandt slays the Team Alpha Male slayer

Just when it appeared that Cruz had Team Alpha Male's number, Cody Garbrandt rose to the occasion with a star-making performance at UFC 207. 'No Love' turned in a master class to usurp the bantamweight throne from Cruz.

Cody Garbrandt defeats Dominick Cruz
Cody Garbrandt defeats Dominick Cruz

Cody Garbrandt's ascent to the mountaintop was surprising, given that he had done it just two years after his debut. All is well for Team Alpha Male once again as it has finally reclaimed its status as a championship-calibre gym for the first time since Ludwig's departure.

January 6, 2017: The war of words commences

After Cody Garbrandt's championship win, TJ Dillashaw made things compelling as he climbed his way back into title contention. With the clash between the former teammates inevitable, Garbrandt and Dillashaw started taking shots at each other.

Dillashaw claimed to have made Garbrandt cry, while Garbrandt retaliated by saying he once knocked out Dillashaw during a sparring session. 'No Love' has even released video evidence of the incident.

January 15, 2017: Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw were booked as The Ultimate Fighter coaches

The UFC capitalized on the fanfare surrounding Cody Garbrandt vs. TJ Dillashaw by booking the two as rival coaches on TUF 25. Nothing out of the ordinary happened between the two. For several weeks, they got in each other's faces and vowed to do dreadful things to each other come fight night โ€“ just regular TUF programming.

Unfortunately, Garbrandt sustained a back injury that forced him out of his encounter with Dillashaw at UFC 213. The rivals will have to wait four months before finally settling their differences in the octagon.

November 4, 2017: The initial clash

Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw finally came to blows at UFC 217. Come fight night, Dillashaw made Garbrandt and Team Alpha Male pay for all the smack they've been talking about him.

TJ Dillashaw dethrones Cody Garbrandt
TJ Dillashaw dethrones Cody Garbrandt

After a competitive first round, Garbrandt seemed to have gained the upper hand as he sent Dillashaw crashing into the mat with 10 seconds remaining. But Dillashaw came back stronger in round two and landed some massive strikes that ultimately led to the stoppage.

August 4, 2018: The rematch

TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt ran it back at UFC 227 with their roles reversed. 'No Love' had the opportunity to redeem himself but instead, he would suffer a devastating loss that would send his career into a downward spiral.

TJ Dillashaw beats Cody Garbrandt again
TJ Dillashaw beats Cody Garbrandt again

Garbrandt went on to collect four losses in his last five fights. In his most recent outing at UFC Fight Night 188, Garbrandt was dismantled by top contender Rob Font in a lop-sided five-round scrap.

January 2019: TJ Dillashaw tests positive for EPO

TJ Dillashaw was given the opportunity to become the UFC's third two-division champion against Henry Cejudo. That seemed to be the hope as far as the matchmakers were concerned. Dillashaw was heavily favored to walk away from UFC Fight Night 143 with two belts.

Henry Cejudo finishes TJ Dillashaw
Henry Cejudo finishes TJ Dillashaw

However, Cejudo embarrassed Dillashaw, knocking him out in the first round. What's even more embarrassing, however, was that Dillashaw had tested positive for the banned substance recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO).

With that in mind, fans were left questioning whether Dillashaw's accomplishments โ€“ including his title wins and two victories over Garbrandt โ€“ were legitimate. However, Dillashaw insists that he only used the substance once, to cut weight for the Cejudo fight.

TJ Dillashaw hasn't been back since his doping scandal, but he will return in the main event of UFC Vegas 32 against Cory Sandhagen.


Watch our exclusive interview with Dustin 'The Diamond' Poirier right here!

Edited by Jack Cunningham
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