This past Saturday in the featured prelim at UFC 285, former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt (13-6) was looking to get back in the win column. Standing in his way was the heavy handed Trevin Jones (13-10) who was looking for the biggest win of his career.
Garbrandt’s fall from grace has been incredibly steep. At one point, he was undefeated and the bantamweight champion. He had just defeated arguably the greatest bantamweight of all time and he looked like he was on the cusp of superstardom. However, after his title win over Dominick Cruz, Garbrandt went just 1-5 in his next six including four knockout losses.
Prior to UFC 285, he dropped down to flyweight for one fight where he got knocked out by Kai Kara-France. This was a big step back in competition for him, but it was viewed as a reset fight for the former champion. Through the first two rounds, Garbrandt displayed a very patient game plan.
He didn’t overextend or get aggressive which has gotten him in trouble in the past. He stayed composed and coasted to a lead. However, in the third round, Jones started pressing the action and going after him. He visibly rocked Garbrandt a couple of times. The former champ held on and won a 29-28 decision.
What’s next after UFC 285?
In the post-fight press conference, Garbrandt said he suffered a neck injury just prior to the fight and he thought he might have to pull out. He gutted it out and still went in there and got the win. However, the final round was really telling to me.
I don’t think anyone out there would be wise to bet on Cody Garbrandt against anyone with really solid punching power. If Trevin Jones would’ve put his foot on the gas from the opening bell, I’m not even sure Garbrandt wins on Saturday night.
Maybe I’m overreacting, but Garbrandt didn’t look like a guy who could hang with even ranked competition on Saturday night. I’m sure his next fight will be someone in the rankings, perhaps on the back end of the top 15. Garbrandt could have the opportunity to shut a lot of people up if that’s the case. Me included.