We caught up with the champ to ask him about his highly anticipated rematch with Cody Garbrandt, how he feels about defending the belt in Los Angeles and the state of the 135 pound division.
UFC: How excited are you for this rematch with Cody?
Dillashaw: I’m excited to just get out there and defend my belt and to do it at Staples Center in LA. It’s going to be tons of fun, I mean I grew up in California. All my family is gonna be there, my whole hometown is gonna be there, and I went to school at Cal State Fullerton so all of Orange County is going to be there. It’s going to be a great crowd for me.
UFC: The rivalry between you and Cody is well documented. Is there still drama between you guys?
Dillashaw: There will always be some bad blood and making them pay for it is always great, but that’s not my main goal. My main goal is just to continue to be on top.
UFC: This is one of the biggest fights of the year. But do you think that Cody should have taken a few other fights before another shot of the title?
Dillashaw: Absolutely. This is way too soon for Cody. I’m going to go out there and ruin his career at 135 pounds. He’s never going to get a title shot again, I’m going to prove that he doesn’t belong at the top and he’s going to have to go elsewhere.
UFC: What’s going to be different between the first fight and when you two get in the Octagon on Saturday?
Dillashaw: I think the only thing that is going to be different about this fight is that I’m going to be even more dominant. I’m going to be even smarter than I was the first time. I’m great with rematches, I’m great at scouting opponents. I’m an intelligent when it comes to getting inside the Octagon, this will do nothing but benefit me fighting him a second time.
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UFC: How excited are you to be taking this fight in your home state?
Dillashaw: It couldn’t be in a more beautiful place. The crowd is going to be amazing, the energy is going to be awesome. I’m definitely going to make sure to relish it and soak it all up, as I walk out, as I get my hand raised. The whole thing.
UFC: Do you feel like the lower UFC weight classes are gaining popularity?
Dillashaw: I think the lighter weight classes have always been more entertaining I just think the fans are getting a little bit more knowledge in the sport. We’re able to go longer, little more technical. It was just a matter of time. You see the biggest names in boxing as well, it’s the smaller weight classes. It’s the guys that are able to get out there and put it all together and go for 25 minutes. If that fight goes for 25 minutes we’re able to go the entire and we’re always looking for the finish. I think the most exciting weight class is 135 right now, we got a stacked division and I’m at the top of it.
Gavin Porter is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PorterUFCnews
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