Cody Garbrant: Negotiations underway for 125 title shot

Cody Garbrandt was 11-0 heading into his first UFC bantamweight title defense, and appeared on the verge of breakout stardom. But he lost his belt to T.J. Dillashaw via TKO in Round 2, and lost the immediate rematch via TKO in Round 1, and then lost to Pedro Munhoz via KO in Round 1 in the Fight of the Night. However, “No Love” bounced back with a KO of the Year contender Rvs. aphael Assuncao at UFC 250 in June.

Now Garbrandt tells Brett Okamoto that the rumors are true – he wants to challenge UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo.

“As far as I know, I don’t have a contract in hand,” said Garbrandt. “We’re trying to wait on that with [manager Ali Abdelaziz] and Dana and Sean and Mick. I’ve actually been vocal about going to 125 for quite some time now. We spoke about it in the past before the Assuncao fight and I feel like it’s great. I’m able to do it now, early still in my career. I just turned 29. I’m able to go to 125, challenge and win that title there, and then go back up to 135 pounds and compete with the best of them there.

“I feel like it’s a time in my life and my career where it’s very pivotal for me to make this transition into flyweight and bantamweight. I don’t think a lot of the flyweight guys could come up to bantamweight and compete at the elite level that I am, so I’m very blessed I’m able to do that. So yeah, hopefully I get this shot against Figueroa, Figueiredo – whatever his name is. Great guy. I think that he’s a tough, tough competitor, I just think that I’m way more skillful than him and excited for the challenge at task. Hopefully we’ll get it done and I can get in the Octagon before this year’s up again.”

“I talked to Dana when he was on Fight Island. He said he’ll work on it and he was speaking with Ali and my coach Mark Henry, my coaches out here in Sacramento, so that’s kind of the plan. Right now, I just got done working out and I’m 145 pounds. Twenty pounds over – that’s very doable. I don’t cut weight until 135 pounds. I watch my weight the week of the fight and a lot of these guys are cutting to flyweight walking around this weight. So I can be very dangerous there and at 135 pounds.”

“Like I said, I’d love to be able go snatch the 125-pound belt and then go and fight Petr Yan if he’s the champion after I grab this belt in November. … obviously, if you’re able to become a two-division world champion – not many are world champions in their life or their career. I have the opportunity to do this. I’m chasing greatness. I’m on a mission. I’ve had the world championship tied around my waist before, I know what that feeling is, and I know I’m capable of doing it again at both weight classes.”

h/t Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting

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