Former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt suffered his fourth loss in his last five fights, as Rob Font outpointed “No Love” over five rounds in the main event of UFC Vegas 27 this past Saturday. The setback pushed Garbrandt out of a 135-pound contenders spot in one of the UFC’s most stacked divisions. So what’s next for Garbrandt? Here are a few options
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) May 23, 2021
Drop To The Flyweight Division
This seems like the most likely situation with a path towards a 125-pound title shot much more realistic than one at bantamweight. The 29-year-old was slated to face flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo in November at UFC 255 before an injury forced him out of that title fight.
Cody Garbrandt went on Instagram Live to explain why he had to withdraw from his UFC 255 flyweight title bout against Deiveson Figueiredo. pic.twitter.com/mCX6IzSm9B
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) October 2, 2020
Figueiredo will defend his title in a few weeks at UFC 263 in a rematch against Brandon Moreno, and it’s unlikely Garbarndt would be granted another title shot off a loss. However, you could give the Team Alpha Male member the loser of this 125-pound championship fight and give #2 ranked contender Askar Askarov the winner. Other opponents like Kai Kara France could be interesting as well, it depends where the UFC would want to place Garbrandt in the division.
“Suga” Sean O’Malley Fight
For whatever reason, Sean O’Malley is fighting another unranked opponent at UFC 264 when he battles Louis Smolka. Regardless of the outcome in that fight, I think an O’Malley vs. Garbrandt fight could be interesting and they have a bit of history with the pair taking jabs at each other in the media. These are two of the biggest names in the division and style-wise, it’s a fan-friendly fight with both fighters being exceptional strikers for the division.
Dominick Cruz Rematch
Garbrandt won the UFC bantamweight title at the end of 2016 when he defeated Dominick Cruz by decision at UFC 207. While Cruz is coming off a win in his last fight – defeating rising prospect Casey Kenney by decision at UFC 259 – he’s ranked lower than Garbrandt in the division, sitting in the #9 spot. For Garbrandt, it’s a chance to close the chapter on that rivalry and for Cruz, it’s a chance to avenge one of the few losses he has in the UFC.
The night that Cody Garbrandt beat Dominick Cruz he was 𝕦𝕟𝕥𝕠𝕦𝕔𝕙𝕒𝕓𝕝𝕖!
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) May 19, 2021