Cody Garbrandt’s Focused on BW Crown, But Pursuit of Champ-Champ Status Could Follow
Not long ago, Cody Garbrandt reported that he was planning a drop to flyweight to pursue the division's title. While "No Love" is still open to that move, right now, he's focused on reclaiming the bantamweight belt.
Cody Garbrandt hasn’t abandoned the possibility of making a championship run at flyweight, but as he gets set to fight Raphael Assuncao at UFC 250 tomorrow, “No Love” has his sights set on the bantamweight title.
Reclaiming bantamweight title is top priority
Not long ago, Garbrandt raised eyebrows throughout MMA, when he announced he was going to “really save” the flyweight division. At the time, Garbrandt said he was still planning to face Assuncao, but after that, a drop to 125 would follow.
Well, fast forward to today, and Garbrandt is reporting he’s changed his focus. While talking to the media ahead of UFC 250, the former bantamweight champ said this (quotes via MMA Junkie).
“We’ll see how the bantamweight shakes out,” Garbrandt said. “I want to the best in the world, that’s what I set out to do.
If it’s in the cards for me to go down to ’25 and become the flyweight champion as well as the bantamweight champion, then we’ll do that.
We’ll talk with my coaches and my managers. But first and foremost I have a tough adversary in Raphael Assuncao for Saturday I’m focused on.
“You’ve always got to have your second goals ready to go, but it’s getting back to the throne. That’s what I want.
I want the bantamweight title back. I’m very excited for that opportunity to climb the ranks again. Once a hunter always a hunter.”
So, why the change? It could be simply because now that UFC 250 is here, Garbrandt’s feeling healthy, confident, and excited to make another run for the bantamweight belt.
You also have to wonder, however, if the fact Henry Cejudo has retired and vacated the belt could be playing a role too. Due to Cejudo’s decision, the title shot picture has been shaken up somewhat.
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If Garbrandt can score a big win over Assuncao, and if he can take out another top contender after that, he could be in play for a title shot.
Garbrandt has to be “myself”
First things first, and that’s getting past Assuncao. While Assuncao isn’t a household name here in North America, he’s a perennial contender and has defeated top tier bantamweights like T.J. Dillashaw, Marlon Moraes and Aljamain Sterling.
While talking about what he needs to do in his bout with Assuncao, Gabrandt said this.
“I just got to be myself,” Garbrandt said. “Go out there and fight the way I fight. Put on performances.
However I have to do it it’s cool, calm and collected. Just really show my growth. A lot of people look at a loss or a failure as a setback, but for me, I’ve learned.
I’ve had to learn the hard way my entire life.”
It’s a really interesting match-up. No question. Not only because of the abilities of both men, but because it’s a pivotal fight for both. Garbrandt has lost three in a row and Assuncao has dropped two straight.