Now fully healthy, former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt is ready to show the world just how good he can be.
Since becoming bantamweight champion, Garbrandt has endured a three-fight losing run, getting finished via knockout on all those occasions. He was most recently knocked out by Pedro Munhoz at UFC 235 in March. Nursing injuries from that fight, “No Love” has used the time off to not only recover, but spend time with his family — something he sees as a blessing in disguise:
“I think it’s a blessing in disguise that my career’s kind of taken this halt and stopped as far as transcending,” Garbrandt told MMA Junkie. “Each win, you’re going to keep fighting and fighting, so I’ve been able to sit at home, still train, be with my family and watch my son grow and be hands-on.”
Garbrandt has faced criticism for his poor decision-making in his last three fights, notably engaging in slugfests leading to his demise. However, he is now going to fight smart and feels his best performances are still ahead of him:
“I know I’m way better than these guys, but I sometimes fight to their level when I bang it out,” Garbrandt explained “When I stick to my skills, my speed and do what I’ve done to become a world champion, no one in the world can match me. The main thing is just staying hungry, motivated and health is a huge factor in that. Being motivated to go in there and train.
“Now it’s about being smart. I’m 28 years old and I feel like a lot of my best performances are ahead of me. It’s a marathon. A lot of these guys have not reached the pinnacle I have at an early age and the career and as many fights as I’ve had. So I’m still learning and growing and the hunger and motivation is there.”
Garbrandt Targeting Top Of The Heap
A lot has changed in the bantamweight division since Garbrandt last fought. Henry Cejudo is now the champion while a number of new contenders have emerged.
Garbrandt is targeting anyone in the top five and believes an impressive win can erase the memories of his last few fights:
“(I will fight) anyone in the top five can get it,” Garbrandt said. “I like all those fights. Even Dominick Cruz, that’d be a fun rematch. He hasn’t fought since I beat him and he’s out with a lot of injuries. Raphael Assuncao, there’s that Russian kid (Petr Yan). There’s so many dudes I would like to fight in the top. I truly believe I’m the best in the world and the fight game is so – one win erases all of that. I’m excited to just get back in there and show my skills.”
Who do you want to see Garbrandt face next?