Following his star-making performance at UFC 207, which saw Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt become the new UFC bantamweight champion, the Team Alpha Male prodigy now has his eyes set on featherweight champion José Aldo.
If you have Garbrandt listed as your 2016 ‘Fighter of the Year’ then nobody can argue with that. Following three consecutive first round finishes against Augusto Mendes, Thomas Almeida and Takeya Mizugaki, the 25-year-old then put in a five-round masterclass on Dominick Cruz at UFC 207 this past weekend to become the new 135lb champion.
He took all three judges’ decision – 48-46, 48-47, 48-46 – and even had time to throw in the robot and a push-up over the course of 25 engaging, action-packed minutes.
A rematch with Cruz, arguably the greatest 135lb fighter of all time, or former teammate TJ Dillashaw, who scored a big victory over John Lineker on the same card and is currently ranked #1 in the UFC official rankings, appear most likely for spring. Yet Garbrandt is already looking at a potential champion vs. champion clash up at 145lb.
“I need to sit down with Dana [White] and Sean [Shelby], and find out the biggest money fight for me,” Garbrandt told the MMA Hour. “I know I could go up and fight with José Aldo. He has wins over my teammates, he’s a legend, and I’d like to test his chin.
“I know I hit hard, and I’m just getting started. And I could also have the biggest fight with Conor [McGregor]. I could easily go up. My homie Nate Diaz choked him out, and I can’t believe he’s pound-for-pound No. 2 on the list, with, you know he got choked out.”
At just 25 years of age, a UFC champion, oozing bundles of charisma, Garbrandt believes he’s already one of the biggest draws in the company and would be a challenge for the current 155lb king McGregor.
Garbrandt added: “He knows that I’d go up to 150 and catchweight with him. José Aldo I’ll go up to ’45. But yeah. I’m excited for the potential match-ups for me. I feel like I’m one of the biggest draws. I’m the biggest draw for Conor in the division, you know what I mean? I’m a rising star. Jose needs a fight. I think that he went out there and said that he’d like to fight me too.”