Cody Garbrandt claims his future rests in the UFC flyweight division, but he still has a final piece of business to take care of at bantamweight, first.
Garbrandt (11-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC), the former UFC champ at 135 pounds, is on a three-fight losing skid dating back to when he dropped the gold in November 2017. He has been sidelined more than 13 months due to injuries and was recently forced to withdraw from a scheduled bout with Raphael Assuncao at UFC on ESPN 8 (an event that was ultimately postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic).
The fight with Assuncao is something Garbrandt still hopes to book when he’s healthy and UFC events start rolling again. However, “No Love” said he won’t be sticking around the division beyond that.
“First we’re focused on Raphael, and that’s still the fight to make and the fight next,” Garbrandt told ESPN. “Then go down and really save the flyweight division.”
All three of the losses in Garbrandt’s current skid have come by stoppage due to strikes. He’s taken some criticism for a difficulty absorbing damage, and an argument could be made that depleting his body of another 10 pounds could make him even more susceptible to knockouts.
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Garbrandt, 28, dismissed any speculation that he has a weak “chin,” though, and actually thinks the additional weight cut will be beneficial. According to Garbrandt, his walk-around weight is within the range of other flyweights, and that’s why he thinks he’s a good fit for the division.
“I never really cut weight at ’35,” Garbrandt said. “I’m looking at going to ’25. That’s what I want to do. I’m young. I can do it. I walk around at 145 pounds. Sometimes after sparring sessions 142, 143. I’m still strong, fast before my weight cut, and I feel I can keep that at ’25. That’s the plan. We spoke about doing this.”