After suffering one of the most serious sounding cases of COVID-19 in MMA, former bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt is penciling in his return to action for late winter / early spring, with an eye on March.
Schedule wise that means it’s already about time the UFC figures out what they’re going to do with their would-be superstar. “No Love” was set to drop to flyweight to challenge Deiveson Figueiredo before Coronavirus wrecked that. And now Figueiredo is tied up with Brandon Moreno.
MMA Junkie spoke to Garbrandt’s agent Ali Abdelaziz who made it clear Garbrandt was still focused on a flyweight title fight ... but if that wasn’t available, a high profile fight with Jose Aldo would do.
“I’m interested in Cody Garbrandt vs. Jose Aldo at 135 pounds,” Abdelaziz said. “If the flyweight champ is available, 100 percent Cody is the No. 1 contender. That’s what Dana White says. If he’s not available, everybody is booked or coming from losses. I think Cody needs a fight to get him up, and I think Jose Aldo is a fight to get him up. I think that’s a five-round fight, main event. Why not?”
Garbrandt has had a terrible time recently, hitting a three fight slump and injuring himself multiple times. A win against Raphael Assuncao in June of 2020 proved he was still capable of beating top competition, but then COVID came and knocked him down again.
“A healthy, focused Cody Garbrandt is a very dangerous Cody Garbrandt,” Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie. “I think he can beat anybody on any given night, as long as he is healthy and focused, and I believe he matches up with the champ at 125 very well. I think he’ll knock him out. I think stylistically, Cody is a very bad matchup for Petr Yan, too. To be honest with you, I think Cody, he fights Aldo, he wins, he goes down and fights at ’25 and then comes back and try to be a double champ.”
That may be, but we’re still not sure a healthy Cody Garbrandt will be available in March. Given the serious symptoms Cody shared recently, there’s bound to be questions on whether “No Love” can return at the same caliber, let alone take two belts back to back like his manager is talking about.