Saturday night didn’t go as planned for Cody Garbrandt. The former UFC bantamweight champion stepped into the cage for the first time in almost a year, off of a long and difficult bout with COVID-19, to take on rising contender Rob Font in the main event of UFC Vegas 27.
What followed was a five round drubbing at the hands of the New England Cartel talent, to the tune of two 50-45 scorecards (and an inexplicable 48-47), where Garbrandt largely looked uncomfortable in the cage outside of brief flashes of speed and power. After the bout, ‘No Love’ took to Instagram live to deliver a video message to his fans, telling them that he was thankful for their support and will be back training soon.
“Rob was the better man today,” Garbrandt said (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I just feel like I was fighting myself in there, battling myself, and I’m not taking anything away from him, congrats on his camp. First and foremost, thank God for keeping us both safe in there. A lot of positives come from this, brush it off, and get back with my coaches and teammates. We’re still striving to be the best and be the world champion. Sometimes there’s adversity that comes along in your dreams and makes you work harder, makes you realize what needs to be done, and makes it that much sweeter climbing up the mountain.”
“I’m just really thankful,” he continued. “I wanted to come on here and just tell you guys how much I appreciate and love your support. It’s very appreciated. I’m trying to fight my heart out for you guys. Thank you.”
The longtime Team Alpha Male fighter and current Mark Henry protege also gave a more direct congratulations to Rob Font over on his Instagram. But, that doesn’t mean that it was all warm receptions and well wishes for the 29-year-old. He also got some heat from the haters. Most notably professional troll and part-time boxer Jake Paul, who took the opportunity of Garbrandt’s loss to bait the former champ with a short joke.
Garbrandt was quick to respond.
No word on when Garbrandt may be looking to return to action. And as for Paul, this appears to have been another successful attempt to keep himself in the conversation following his recent first round TKO of former UFC fighter Ben Askren, as he looks to set himself up for more boxing matches against MMA talent down the road.