The rivalry between Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw is one of the most enduring in MMA today. Both men are elite talents in their division, both have a shared history dating back to their time in Team Alpha Male and, of course, both men really hate each other.
It wasn't always like this. Back in 2015, Garbrandt was riled up to the point of violence after Conor McGregor famously questioned the relationship between Dillashaw and his at-the-time friends at Team Alpha Male:
When Dillashaw eventually split off from the gym, however, the gloves came off and Garbrandt was right alongside Alpha Male owner Urijah Faber in bashing him. While Faber slid into retirement, Garbrandt kept rising up the ranks and, eventually, captured the UFC bantamweight title. That put Dillashaw and Garbrandt on a collision course and that, naturally, led to the UFC highlighting the rivalry through a season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Everyone expected fireworks right away, and Garbrandt delivered when he blew up and grabbed Dillashaw by the throat during an argument on-set:
Even after seeing how hot-headed Garbrandt was during his rise up the rankings, this was a surprising sight, and one that only helped to build up the rivalry. The Ultimate Fighter was supposed to lead to a decisive showdown at UFC 213, but an injury forced Garbrandt off the card.
The bout was rescheduled for UFC 217 but the pure hatred between the two of them hasn't cooled off since, with both fighters exchanging pointed barbs during interviews and over social media. The time for talk ends on Saturday, however, as they step into the cage for what should be their climactic showdown.