In his last five fights, there have been two very different fighters inside of Cody Garbrandt. The ‘No Love’ we saw at UFC 250 and against the greatest bantamweight of all time, Dominick Cruz, was patient, poised, smooth and calm. He was fast with great footwork, picked his shots and then moved in for the kill.
The Garbrandt we saw against TJ Dillashaw (twice) and Pedro Munhoz was emotional, reckless, and wild. He was a brawler. That style might work in the lower levels of the UFC or in other fight organisations, but against the elite level of the UFC, it’s a recipe for disaster. You cannot do that against the best of the best.
And Garbrandt is all too aware of that now. Speaking to MMA Fighting, ‘No Love’ said ‘Cody 2.0’ is here now.
“It’s the old Cody,” Garbrandt said. “It’s me vs. me, always. If the old Cody comes back, f***, he’s a scary dude. Cody 2.0 is here. I’ve just got to keep bettering myself inside my profession, outside my profession, doing the right things in life, making the right decisions and everything else falls into place. I don’t fear any man, I fear myself.
After Garbrandt and Sean O’Malley both scored spectacular knockouts at UFC 250, many fans are calling for a showdown between the two heavy hitting bantamweights. While many are making comparisons between the two, Cody isn’t buying into it.
“No parallels, I was 25 years old, a world champion. He’s 25. I was an 11-0 world champion. He has not fought anybody in the top-15. How many people did I fight in the top-15? Under two years in the UFC, I became a world champion. That’s a fast track. I was fighting the best, am the best, will be the best. No comparison.
“I will say I like his style. I like his little flashy hair. It’s cool for the division. So keep doing his thing, keep getting those wins, we’ll see you at the top, buddy.”
Garbrandt and Petr Yan, who is set to fight Jose Aldo for the vacant bantamweight title this summer, almost came to blows backstage at UFC 245 last December. And that’s exactly who the former champion has his sights set on.
“I heard that they’re going to ‘Fight Island’ and there’s only one name that I want to fight on ‘Fight Island,’ that’s Petr Yan, So Dana, I’m healthy, I’m ready, I want this strap back, I want this world championship back. It’s vacant for a reason and that’s my destiny to get it back. So I’ll go through whoever they need me to go through, but it’s inevitable that it’s mine.”
And with Aljamain Sterling promised the winner of Yan vs Aldo, Garbrandt is going to need to find a different opponent, if he wants to fight again any time soon. But as ‘No Love’ points out, there are no shortage of exciting potential opponents in the stacked 135lbs division.
“Just watching the bantamweights get so much hype—not even hype, but recognition on the night, I was just excited,” Garbrandt said. “There’s gonna be so many potential bouts that I can have. So many potential knockout performance bonuses that I’m gonna get in my bank from all these guys. They come out and show up, I’m excited for the bantamweight division. It’s the best division in the UFC.
“We have some killers. It’s a shark tank. You’ve got Dominick Cruz, you’ve got Urijah Faber still doing what he wants to do, you have so many guys. It’s a shark tank division. They’re talented, they’re fast, they’re strong, and I’m excited to get back to the top and get my title back. Come one, come all.”
TJ Dillashaw Rematch?
One potential opponent down the road is the former champion TJ Dillashaw, who is currently serving a two year suspension from USADA for testing positive for EPO. Once he returns from suspension in early 2021, Garbrandt would certainly like to avenge his two losses against the 34 year old.
“We’re talking about TJ who’s still suspended. He’s not even in there, but that’s a fight I’d like to get back. We all know what he was on, we all knew what he was doing, it took so many times for him to skate by USADA, unfortunately. He’s serving his sentence, he’s gonna always have to live with that the rest of his life, he has a child that has eyes on him that knows that his dad was a cheater. The whole world looked up to him, a lot of young kids. It’s sad.
“I kind of feel bad for the guy, he has no confidence, that he has to use those kinds of aids to be a fighter. But we’ll see. I’m gonna be at the world championship, I’m gonna be at the top, so if he works his way back up there, open doors, let’s get it.”
There is definitely ‘no love’ lost between Cody and TJ, and the potential for great things for Garbrandt in the dangerous bantamweight division. Now let’s see which ‘No Love’ will show up.
Who would you like to see Cody Garbrandt face next?