Uriah Faber protégé and newly crowned king of the UFC Bantamweight division Cody Garbrandt emerged as a star at UFC 207 after defeating long-reigning king Dominick Cruz in impressive fashion. His most likely opponent will be the former champion TJ Dillashaw who put on a clinical display against hard-hitting John Linekar in a unanimous decision victory.
However, Cody Garbrandt is looking for the biggest fight possible and is willing to scrap with Lightweight champion Conor McGregor or Jose Aldo. There is a little backstory with Garbrandt and Conor McGregor. In The Ultimate Fighter: TeamMcGregor vs. TeamFaber, loyal team Alpha Male member Cody Garbrandt defended TJ Dillashaw when Conor accurately prophesied his departure from the team. The Bantamweight champion did not hesitate to shove McGregor and the two were quickly separated. While Faber and McGregor have since made friends, Cody is still interested in a potential catchweight bout with the two-division champion.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani, Cody spoke about a potential bout with Jose Also or Conor McGregor:
“I know I could go up and fight with Jose Aldo. He has wins over my teammates, he’s a legend, and I’d like to test his chin. I know I hit hard, and I’m just getting started. And I could also have the biggest fight with Conor [McGregor]. I could easily go up. My homie Nate Diaz choked him out, and I can’t believe he’s pound-for-pound No. 2 on the list, with, you know he got choked out,” Garbrandt said during an appearance on The MMA Hour.
Since the UFC sold for about $4 billion in 2016, many fighters are looking for the big fights. Garbrant went from unranked to champion of the Bantamweight division in one calendar year and many fans thinks this makes the young fighter a potential fighter of the year. While champions have some say regarding who they fight, they decision is ultimately up to the matchmakers and the UFC.
TJ Dillashaw claimed he made Garbrandt cry during a sparring session and the Bantamweight champion, however, Cody rebuked this claim and said there is video footage of him knocking out Dillashaw.
As former teammates, Cody Garbrandt was offended by Dillashaw’s perceived disloyalty to Team Alpha Male and the bad blood between the two fighters will likely be too much for the UFC to resist. UFC President Dana White has expressed interest in making the fight happen during his UFC 207 post-event interview.
Cody Garbrant is looking to take some time off and return to action around summer of 2017, according to his interview with the MMA Hour:
“I think so, say June maybe, before summer,” he said. “Yeah, I think that would be a great time to come back and give somebody an ass-whooping. But yeah, me and Conor had the beef on The Ultimate Fighter. I mean, have nothing against the guy as far as a fighter. It’s a business to me. But I’ll tell you what, somebody puts their hands on me and I didn’t do shit about it, I’d be wanting to get them back each time. That’s for sure.”
Conor McGregor was disinterested in a fight with Uriah Faber back when they filmed The Ultimate Fighter due to the difference in size. Since Garbrandt is around the same height and size as Faber, it is unlikely that Conor will be interested in the potential matchup or going down in weight.
With his performance at UFC 207, Garbrandt is certainly a big draw for the UFC and may headline a match-up with TJ Dillashaw or Jose Aldo in 2017.
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]