Cody Garbrandt is ready to drop down from bantamweight to flyweight and meet the newly crowned champion in Brandon Moreno by the end of the year.
Garbrandt prepared to make the change in weight last year to meet then-champion, Deiveson Figueiredo and was scheduled to fight him in the main event of UFC 255 in November. The fight never happened though as Garbrandt suffered a torn bicep in training, which he returned to full-time following a lengthy battle with COVID-19. He was replaced by Alex Perez, but was still promised a title shot once he was healthy enough to compete again.
Garbrandt eventually returned earlier this year and fought the No. 3 ranked bantamweight contender in Rob Font at UFC Fight Night: Font vs. Garbrandt in May. It was clearly not the promised title shot he expected, but there was a good reason for that. Garbrandt recently spoke with TMZ Sports and explained why he decided to take the Font fight instead of waiting for the flyweight champion, who he now wants in his next fight.
“We’ve been speaking to Ali [Abdelaziz], my manager and with [UFC matchmaker] Mick [Maynard] and [UFC president] Dana [White], so flyweight was where I was supposed to go to over a year ago,” said Garbrandt. “I was supposed to fight Figueiredo. I actually got COVID, so I had to pull out and then he had a late replacement and did his thing. He won two fights and then obviously went to the draw [with Moreno]. They said that I would still have the title shot when I came back, but they were going to rematch each other and I wasn’t trying to wait that long.
“I battled back through COVID and was ready to fight, so I took the Rob Font fight,” continued Garbrandt. “Still saying that I would have the title shot, beat Rob Font and I could have it at 135 or 125, so we went with that route because I didn’t want to sit idle for a year. That’s how you kill your career is by not being active. So, I took that fight and it obviously didn’t go my way, but knowing that 125 is my weight class and that’s where I want to go. November, I’ll be ready to go down.”
Garbrandt said he has already been working on his weight management for a fight with Moreno, who he heaped praises on after his stunning performance against Figueiredo at UFC 263. Garbrandt also said that a fight between him and Moreno would be a ‘great stylistic matchup’ — one that he believes would result in a finish by “No Love”.
“It just makes sense,” said Garbrandt. “If Moreno wants to fight, I think he’s a great champion, a great human being. He’s leveled up a lot in his last few fights. I like him. I was super happy for the kid. The trajectory and the career he’s had, being cut from the UFC, being the last pick on the Ultimate Fighter to becoming a world champion. A small percentage is able to be a world champion inside the UFC. He’s done it, did it in miraculous fashion last time with how he beat Figgy, so yeah I think he’s a great fighter. I think it’s a great stylistic matchup for myself and I finally get a fight at my natural weight, where I think I’ll perform the best.”
Moreno appears to share the same sentiment as Garbrandt, who was one of the few names he specifically called out to take on in his first title defense. The champion spoke to media a few weeks ago and revealed that he would like to fight again in November, which aligns with when Garbrandt says he will be available.