Despite confirming how a potential rematch with fellow former champion, Dominick Cruz was on the cards this summer, former bantamweight kingpin, Cody Garbrandt is lining up an August 19. return against surging submission ace, Mario Bautista. At the time of publication, an official billing, location, or venue for the promotion’s card has yet to be determined.
Garbrandt, a former undisputed bantamweight champion under the UFC banner, most recently featured at UFC 285 back in March against Trevin Jones, defeating his compatriot in a unanimous decision victory. The victory propelled former champion, Garbrandt back to the winner’s enclosure for the first time since 2020.
As for Bautista, the Winnemucca native has enjoyed an impressive four-fight winning run since dropping a TKO loss to common-foe, Jones back in 2021, most recently submitting Guido Cannetti with a first round neck crank back in March to boot. MMA Fighting reporter, Damon Martin was first to report the news of Cody Garbrandt’s return against Mario Bautista.
“Cody Garbrandt vs. Mario Bautista in the works for a UFC event on August 19, per sources,” Martin tweeted.
13-5 as a professional, prior to his decision win over Jones, Ohio native, Garbrandt had suffered consecutive losses to Kai Kara-France in a brief flyweight excursion, off the back of a main event defeat against recent winner, Rob Font.
Securing a stunning buzzer-beating KO of Raphael Assuncao back in 2020, Garbrandt had snapped a win-less run of three consecutive knockout defeats to Pedro Munhoz, and former titleholder, T.J. Dillashaw.
Cody Garbrandt won UFC gold back in 2016
Winning UFC bantamweight gold in just his eleventh professional fight, Garbrandt, 31, turned in a masterful performance to defeat former two-time division best, Cruz back in December 2016 at UFC 206.
En route to the championship, Garbrandt had landed knockout wins over the likes of Marcus Brimage, Thomas Almeida, and Takeya Mizugaki.
12-2 as a professional, before his submission win over Cannetti, Bautista had landed successive triumphs over the trio of Jay Perrin, Brian Kelleher, and Benito Lopez.