Cody Garbrandt doesn’t want to see a championship fight for the vacant bantamweight belt. Instead, how about a tournament?
Garbrandt (12-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC), the former 135-pound champion, returned to the win column in a big way Saturday night, stopping veteran Raphael Assuncao in the co-main event of UFC 250, which tool place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
With former champion Henry Cejudo now retired, Garbrandt thinks the UFC should not proceed with Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo for the vacant title.
“Let’s do a tournament. Let’s do a bantamweight tournament,” Garbrandt said at the UFC 250 post-fight news conference. “Let’s go to ‘Fight Island’ for a few months, go get quarantined out there, bring my coaches, and let’s go to war. Let’s get this battle, let’s get this tournament, and let’s see who the real champion is. Let’s go back to the old school days.
“I heard that they’re going to ‘Fight Island,’ and there’s only one name I want to fight, and that’s Petr Yan. Dana, I’m healthy, I’m ready, so I want this strap, this world championship back. It’s vacant for a reason, and it’s my destiny to get it back. So I’ll go through whoever they need me to go through, but it’s inevitable that is mine.”
Garbrandt snapped a three-fight losing streak at UFC 250. In those three defeats, “No Love” was stopped in each bout while being aggressive and looking for a finish. He took much criticism for fighting frantic rather than being tactical in ways that led to his title win.
Garbrandt said he’s back to his old form and staying away from unnecessary firefights.
“I don’t need to stand in front of these guys and put on a show and brawl,” Garbrandt said. “I can pick them apart just like that. I stayed calm, I waited for Assuncao to open up, and you know, do level changes and do what I needed to do in our game plan with my coaches to get that victory. It feels so good to just be in sync with the coaches and finally get that victory over a tough adversary.”