Garbrandt Wants To Fight For Two Belts In 2021, But Wants Aldo First
With a series of health scares now behind him, Cody Garbrandt is looking forward to returning to the Octagon in April.
Garbrandt last fought at UFC 250 against Raphael Assuncao, winning the fight via a crushing second round knockout, ending his three fight losing run in the process. He was expected to challenge flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 255, but had to pull out due to a torn bicep. He then went through a series of coronavirus-related health issues, which have kept him out of action.
Back To 100 Percent
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Garbrandt said that he’s been back to full health for around six weeks now, and is excited to be able to train 100 percent again.
“Finally, it’s been about a month and a half that I’ve felt I would say 100 percent, no symptoms,” Garbrandt said. “Feeling great that the stress that I’m putting on my body doing MMA and all the training that I’ve been doing, my body is retaining it really well, holding really well to the stress that I’ve been putting on it. I’m excited.”
Garbrandt is targeting April for his return to the Octagon, and wants Jose Aldo to welcome him back as he believes the Brazilian is a great matchup for him.
“I’m targeting a fight with Jose Aldo in April – that’s what I’m shooting for,” Garbrandt shared. “I had the title fight at 125 [pounds], I’m the next in line, but obviously they have to do the rematch. I’m not going to sit and wait eight months. It’s not something I want to do. So I feel like staying at 135 and fighting Jose Aldo will be a great matchup. It’s a fight a lot of fans can get behind.
“I feel my best performances are in front of me, so why not challenge yourself with a Jose Aldo? He’s still dangerous. He’s still there. He’s down in [my] weight class now. He’s coming off a win, I’m coming off a win. We’re both in the top five, so I think it’s the perfect fight to make.”
But if the two fighters are to lock horns inside the cage, Garbrandt believes that he’d knock Aldo out, because he’s the superior fighter in all aspects.
“Aldo’s game,” Garbrandt said. “You don’t get those accolades that he’s achieved, the accomplishments that he’s achieved without being one of the best. That’s what I’m here to prove, that I am the best. I just see him as an opponent. It’s business. I’ve got a lot of respect for him, but I know I’m the far superior fighter skill wise, speed, power, conditioning, and that’s what I want to test myself with. I know I’ll knock him out. I’m excited for that fight.”
The 29 year old also revealed that he has talked to the UFC and his manager Ali Abdelaziz, about fighting Aldo and hopes that both parties will sign the contract soon.
“I spoke to [UFC President] Dana [White], I spoke to Sean [Shelby], I spoke to Ali, they’re all for it,” Garbrandt revealed. “Hopefully we can get this, at least the contract signed so we can project a date in April and I can start planning out my fight camp.”
The UFC is planning an immediate rematch between Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno, who fought to a majority draw at UFC 256 last month. Moreover, Petr Yan is set to defend his bantamweight title against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259 on March 6th. And Garbrandt wants to face the winner of both.
“I’m not going to sit and wait,” Garbrandt stated. “I’m not going to cut to 25 for a contender shot when I already have a title shot. So go fight a legend in Jose Aldo. Go get him in my cap. Knock him out – just stay sharp and get ready for the winner of Figgy [Figueiredo] and Moreno in August or September, and then fight whoever wins out of Yan and Sterling towards the end of the year, maybe a December card. That’s my plan.”
How does Cody Garbrandt fare in a potential matchup with Jose Aldo?