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Cody Garbrandt will beat Deiveson Figueiredo using same gameplan that befuddled Dominick Cruz

UFC 207: Nunes v Rousey Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt was expected to make his flyweight debut against Deiveson Figueiredo at the UFC 255 pay-per-view (PPV) event last month in Las Vegas, but COVID-19 bounced him from their championship title fight.

Fortunately for “No Love,” Figueiredo — who dispatched Alex Perez in the opening frame — will make a quick turnaround for a short-notice title defense opposite No. 1 contender Brandon Moreno atop the UFC 256 fight card in just a few weeks, putting Garbrandt back at the top of the list for early 2021.

“I just think he smashes everyone in this division [other than me],” Garbrandt told ESPN. “These guys sit there in front of him, and that’s where he throws bombs. I move too much. I’m too quick. I’m in and out. These fighters don’t know how to fight backwards. Pressure is all they know. My game plan will be how I fought Dominick Cruz.”

Garbrandt upset Cruz in the UFC 207 co-main event back in December 2016, out-striking “The Dominator” across all five rounds. What followed was a dreadful three-fight losing streak, recently halted with a knockout victory over Raphael Assuncao.

This scenario requires Figueiredo to defeat Moreno at UFC 256, but if “The Assassin Baby” can upset the 125-pound apple cart, the promotion may be more interested in a rematch than a potential “No Love” title defense. That means Garbrandt’s title plans will have to be put on hold for the time being.