YIIIIIIIIKES. Tell ya what, eating roughly a billion TJ Dillashaw fists to the face seems like an all-time bad way to spend a Saturday night. Maybe even worse than spending $26,000 on tickets for your friends/family to see you fight and then getting dominated and choked out in the very first round. MAYBE.
In the short fight that this was, which went almost exactly as their first encounter did, it seemed TJ Dillashaw went back to the gym after UFC 217, worked on everything he did wrong in that fight, and built on what he already had in his arsenal…while it seemed Cody Garbrandt chalked getting knocked out up to a fluke and didn’t look to improve upon anything. He was literally dropped in the same exchange in this fight that knocked him out in their last, and was clearly too emotional in the cage again as TJ stayed calm, cool, collected, and avoided Garbrandt’s bombs long enough to get him in position for a vintage KILLASHAW flurry against the fence, which is pound-for-pound one of the scariest things anyone in the sport has to offer.
Speaking of those Killashaw flurries, remember this one, over Renan Barao in their July 2015 rematch for the UFC Bantamweight Championship?
Well…fun fact about that: I had the first ever Vine of it. I threw the classic, “Stop, stop, he’s already dead!” clip from The Simpsons onto the end of the Vine, uploaded it, and it started picking up steam FAST. Vine was so great for knockouts like that, if you got the first one up, it would usually just skyrocket instantly. Watching the loops spin like the wheels of a slot machine was enthralling, and before I knew it, both SBNation and BleacherReport had embedded it in their own posts about the fights.
Since I was already writing for my own MMA blog at the time, desperately trying to get noticed by Dave Portnoy to fill the barbaric human cockfighting void at Barstool (sorry Chaps), I viewed this as the PERFECT opportunity to finally get his attention. I changed the caption of that Vine – and my Vine of A-ROD’s 3000th hit (which was a home run), and my Vine of Dustin Johnson’s collapse at the US Open – to “Please credit @BarstoolSports”. I bring those up not only because they were the ones that really started going viral for me, and to give you a sense of how big some of those moments were on Twitter/Vine at the time, but also to hopefully make you realize why I thought anyone would take notice of this…but they didn’t. Still, it made me chuckle, and I think there was even a thread about it on the Barstool Reddit back in the day when a Stoolie took notice, before that place became the wretched hive of scum and villainy that it is today. Juuuuuuuuuuuust kiiiiiiiiiiiiiidding.
A little over a year later, though, Riggs would shoot me the email that eventually got my foot in the door here, and I was able to retire from my Vine beat. Blessed beyond belief. Congrats to TJ on the success. Still think he’s a hardo. Not as big a hardo as Garbrandt, though, so we can all sleep happily tonight.