Putting plans for a move to flyweight on hold, former undisputed UFC bantamweight champion, Cody Garbrandt has echoed calls for a clash with former featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo — suggesting an April showdown with the Manaus favourite.
Garbrandt, who was initially scheduled to headline UFC 255 in November, was forced from his flyweight division bow against champion, Deiveson Figueiredo due to a bicep tear he had suffered in the weeks leading up to the clash after he had also dealt with a particularly debilitating case of COVID-19.
The Ohio native was scheduled to make his drop to 125-pounds to challenge for flyweight title spoils, with incumbent titleholder, Figueiredo instead matching with short-notice replacement, Alex Perez — besting the Lemoore technician with a timely first round guillotine win.
Snapping a poor run of form in June, which saw him drop the title to the soon to return former teammate, T.J. Dillashaw as well as a subsequent immediate rematch — the recent Mark Henry mover also suffered a knockout loss to Brazilian division mainstay, Pedro Munhoz — his third on the trot.
In his first camp under the tutelage of the renowned Henry, the heavy-hitter return to the win column via a stunning, buzzer-beating knockout over Raphael Assuncao at UFC 250 — narrowly missing out on a Knockout of the Year accolade by many given Joaquin Buckley’s astonishing effort against Impa Kasanganay.
Announcing plans to meet with Figueiredo in a return to the Octagon this coming March, Garbrandt was forced to bring a halt to those ideas following the Brazilian’s majority draw with UFC 256 challenger, Brandon Moreno — in a bout which is poised for a re-run in the coming months.
Following former champion, Aldo’s unanimous decision win over Team Oyama striker, Marlon Vera at UFC Vegas 17 in December, the Brazilian veteran noted his interest in standing opposite the above mentioned, Dillashaw or Garbrandt next. Taking to his official Instagram, Garbrandt seems all-in on an April matchup with Aldo.
“I am creating the life of my dreams,” Garbrandt wrote. “Excited to get back in that steel cage @josealdojunior (Jose Aldo) how’s April sound? #VisionQuest”
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Garbrandt, 29, went 10-0 professionally before challenging then-champion, Dominick Cruz for the undisputed 135-pound crown at UFC 207 in December of 2016, producing one of the most dominant title challenge victories in Octagon history on his way to a one-sided unanimous decision win.
Dropping the championship in his first attempted title knockback, Garbrandt met with the aforenoted, Dillashaw in a grudge match at UFC 217 the following November. Despite scoring a late opening round knockdown, Garbradnt suffered a high-kick knockdown of his own in the second, before Dillashaw closed the show and reclaimed the title in an exchange midway through the frame.