Cody Garbrandt got his hand raised on Fight Island last month, after KOing Raphael Assuncao. That was the former UFC bantamweight champion’s first win since he beat Dominick Cruz back at UFC 207 in 2016.
Since that Cruz win, where he won the 135 lb belt, Garbrandt suffered back-to-back TKO losses to T.J. Dillashaw and a KO loss to Pedro Munhoz.
After getting back to winning ways, Garbrandt has suggested that he might be a worthy challenger for a UFC title, though not the one you’d expect. When speaking with ESPN recently ‘No Love’ discussed the possibility of dropping down in weight to fight recently crowned UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo.
“We’re trying to wait on [a contract to fight Figueiredo] with [Ali Abdelaziz] and Dana and [Sean Shelby] and [Mick Maynard],” said Garbrandt (per MMAFighting). “I’ve actually been vocal about going to 125 for quite some time now. We spoke about it in the past before the Assuncao fight and I feel like it’s great. I’m able to do it now, early still in my career. I just turned 29. I’m able to go to 125, challenge and win that title there, and then go back up to 135 pounds and compete with the best of them there.”
Garbrandt continued to state that he felt now was the right time in his career to experiment with fighting in both the flyweight and bantamweight divisions. He also said that he is very confident about being able to make 125 lbs.
“Right now, I just got done working out and I’m 145 pounds. Twenty pounds over—that’s very doable. I don’t cut weight until 135 pounds. I watch my weight the week of the fight and a lot of these guys are cutting to flyweight walking around this weight. So I can be very dangerous there and at 135 pounds.”
Should he transition to the flyweight division, and be handed a title shot versus Figueiredo, Garbrandt revealed that he believed the Brazilian would be no push over.
“Hopefully I get this shot against Figueroa, Figueiredo - whatever his name is. Great guy. I think that he’s a tough, tough competitor, I just think that I’m way more skillful than him and excited for the challenge at task. Hopefully we’ll get it done and I can get in the octagon before this year’s up again.”
Despite his interest in Figueiredo, Garbrandt said he’d still like to fight new bantamweight champion Petr Yan, who defeated Jose Aldo for the vacant belt at UFC 251 earlier this month.
“Like I said, I’d love to be able go snatch the 125 pound belt and then go and fight Petr Yan if he’s the champion after I grab this belt in November. . . . Obviously, if you’re able to become a two division world champion—not many are world champions in their life or their career. I have the opportunity to do this. I’m chasing greatness. I’m on a mission. I’ve had the world championship tied around my waist before, I know what that feeling is, and I know I’m capable of doing it again at both weight classes.”
Garbrandt’s eagerness to fight either Figueiredo or Yan comes despite top bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes claiming he has been offered a fight with Garbrandt. Moraes, who is also managed by Ali Abdelaziz, claimed the UFC wants him to face Garbrandt sometime in October.