It’s been a long time coming, but Cody Garbrandt’s move down to flyweight finally becomes official this weekend at UFC 269.
The former bantamweight champion has been in a slump at 135lbs since losing his belt, losing four of his last fight fights with three of them coming via stoppage.
This weekend though he looks to find a new home at 125lbs when he takes on Kai-Kara France on the main card live on the final pay-per-view event of the year.
Injury forced him to withdraw and after a win over Alex Perez, Figueiredo ended up taking on Brandon Moreno the following month and is now embroiled in a trilogy for the belt.
The delay meant that Gabrandt instead opted to remain at bantamweight for a bout with Rob Font, where he was dominated by a jab for five rounds en route to a defeat.
Now with moving down in weight, ‘No Love’ is hoping he can find a home with the smaller guys and make a charge for the belt once again.
Gabrandt’s punching power often saw him considered as one of the scariest bantamweights in the division, but as he engaged with the elites of the weight class we saw him fold on more occasions than he would have ever wanted.
At 5ft 8′ with a 65.5 inch reach, Garbrandt fits in pretty well at 125lbs. By comparison, champion Moreno stands at 5ft 7′ with a 70 inch reach and Figueiredo stands at 5ft 5 with a 68 inch reach. He was always a small bantamweight.
With his brilliant boxing and fearsome power, mixed in with his elite wrestling background, Gabrandt has all the tools to be a real threat at flyweight and be one of the top names in the division.
But to get there, he must first defeat Kara-France at UFC 269 to put himself into the rankings conversation. If he can do that, which he feels he will be able to do with relative ease, then 2022 is set up for ‘No Love’.
He’d enter the rankings at number six at least, and that means he’d likely be no more than two more wins away from a title shot. Considering he was already scheduled for one after snapping a three-fight losing skid at bantamweight though, don’t be surprised to see it come sooner.
He is supremely popular among fans, has a name that sells tickets and has show-closing power to put doubt into even the biggest Garbrandt hater’s mind.
Flyweight is the perfect division for Garbrandt, and UFC 269 is the perfect place to prove that heading into the new year.