The unthinkable (okay, a bit dramatic) happened on Saturday. Cody Garbrandt beat Dominick Cruz by unanimous decision…by UNANIMOUS DECISION! Still can’t believe it.
But now that it’s over, and we’re starting to come to grasp that our bantamweight champion has a dirty, dirty neck tattoo, the age old MMA question still applies. Who does he fight next?
While the rumblings of an “Alpha Male” showdown between #2 contender T.J. Dillashaw and Garbrandt have come to a boil, there’s also talk of a rematch with Cruz. The only hiccup with that situation is that rematches are all but guaranteed in this sport, no matter how deserving, just ask Jose Aldo.
Speaking of Jose Aldo…it seems there’s already a twist in the unforeseen storyline. In a recent interview Garbrandt pulled a Tyron Woodley, calling for a “big money fight” before his first title defense. Who with? You guessed it; the 145lb champ himself.
“I need to sit down with Dana [White] and Sean [Shelby], and find out the biggest money fight for me,” Garbrandt said during an appearance on The MMA Hour on Monday. “I know I could go up and fight with Jose 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.”
He also discussed a possible catch weight fight at 150lbs with dual champion Conor McGregor. After a little scuffle in the TUF 22 house between McGregor and the alpha male crew, Garbrandt has been dieing to get his hands on him, and this bantamweight title might be his chance.
“And you know, Conor, too. He knows that I’d go up to 150 and catchweight with him. Jose 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 Aldo needs a fight. I think that he went out there and said that he’d like to fight me too.”
Now that Cody Garbrandt has got the conch, he seems to be using it to the best of his ability. The real question is how long will he keep it? It seems fighters on the come up are always talking about champions cherry picking fights, but once they feel the power, they do the exact same thing.
When asked when he’s like to fight next, Cody says he’ll be talking bit of time off and plans to return in June of 2017.
“I think so, say June maybe, before summer,” he said. “Yeah, I think that would be a great time to come back and give somebody an ass-whooping. But yeah, me and Conor had the beef on The Ultimate Fighter. I mean, have nothing against the guy as far as a fighter. It’s a business to me. But I’ll tell you what, somebody puts their hands on me and I didn’t do shit about it, I’d be wanting to get them back each time. That’s for sure.”
What do you guys think about Cody Garbrandt’s recent call outs? Which fight should he take next?