Former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt has fallen on tough times once again, but “No Love” has no plans of giving up on his title hopes.
Garbrandt, 30, was hoping to rediscover his dominance in a drop down to flyweight earlier this month at UFC 269. The former 135-pound champ had lost four out of his last five in the bantamweight division and was eager to start fresh in a weight class desperate for star power. Unfortunately for Garbrandt, he came up short in a pay-per-view (PPV) showing against Kai Kara-France, losing via first-round TKO.
Garbrandt doesn’t believe his drop down to 125 pounds had anything to do with the loss. Instead, Kara-France was simply the better fighter who capitalized in the biggest fight of his own career.
“The camp was great, felt good, the weight cut was amazing,” Garbrandt said on his “Rollin with the Homies” podcast. “Rehydration, refuel process was good, I felt great at 125. I just got caught with a good punch in there and I just couldn’t recover. After I got hit with the punch, got back up, kinda felt OK to where I was moving, coming forward, but I still wasn’t like all there and then I took him down, and then we got into a scramble and came back to our feet and it just felt like I was on a slant.
“I was like damn, I’m still not recovered. He brought the pressure and he brought the combinations and was able to capitalize so hats off to him. He was able to do his job and I still feel like 25 is a great weight for me. I love what I was able to do inside the camp. What I’m taking away from this past camp or the last six months of getting the weight down or three months of camp that we did was just the positive stuff from it.”
Luckily for Garbrandt, he’s still one of the more popular fighters on the UFC roster today and should be given another opportunity to prove himself inside of the Octagon. Garbrandt is unsure if his next fight will take place at flyweight or back up at bantamweight, but “No Love” is ready to roll the dice again.
“Like I said, I felt great at 125,” Garbrandt said. “I think that’s something I have to decide, whether I – 35, 25, I feel great at both. I think if I went to 35, I would do things a little differently. Keep my weight up throughout the camp.”
“There’s a lot of good matchups. Sean O’Malley, I really want to whoop his ass. That’s a fight that’s looming. Hopefully, that could possibly be my next one. I want that fight so I’d like to stay at 35. He might fight me now because I’m not in the rankings at 35 and he’s ranked so that’ll be a good fight. You got to respect his skills, he leveled up a little bit with the Raulian fight, caught him early on, but we know that. The only way he was gonna win was catching him early on and he did that. He did his job, hats off to him. He’s now in the rankings so I have to go back up to 35 and whoop his ass, but we’ll decide, we’ll figure it out.”
After starting his UFC career with a 6-0 record and a bantamweight title fight win over long-time champion Dominick Cruz, Garbrandt has gone just 1-5 inside of the Octagon. That lack of success usually leads to a UFC pink slip for most fighters, but “No Love” isn’t ready to turn it in just yet. Despite what anyone else might think Garbrandt believes he’s still one of the best fighters in the world today.
“When it’s over, I say it’s over,” Garbrandt said. “Not the fans, not Dana, not anybody but me. When I know and I understand that I don’t have it anymore, I don’t have what it takes to push myself and train to be prepared to go out there and give my best shot to win, then I’ll be done. I can honestly say that, and I have a good support system around me that’ll be like, ‘Look, let’s look at something else.’ But that’s so far down the road. I’m 30 years old, I still have a lot left in the tank to do. We’ll make the corrections, we’ll figure it out.”