Former UFC champ Cody Garbrandt returns to 135 against Rani Yahya

cody garbrandt

Cody Garbrandt (12-5) is gearing up for a return to the UFC‘s bantamweight division. The former bantamweight champion is moving back up to 135 after a one-fight stint at flyweight to take on veteran Rani Yahya (28-10-1, 1 NC).

The fight will take place at a UFC Fight Night on July 9th. MMA Fighting was the first to report the booking. Fighting a guy with a name like Cody Garbrandt is a big opportunity for a vet like Yahya.

He gets this opportunity on the heels of back-to-back wins. The last time we saw him was in November when he won a decision against Kyung Ho Kang. If you go back to his WEC days, Yahya has been competing under the UFC banner since 2007.

This will officially be his 20th fight inside the octagon. While not taking on the best of the best, Yahya has put together a very solid career. In his last 12 UFC fights, he’s gone an impressive 9-2-1.

Former UFC Champ Returns

Back in 2016, Cody Garbrandt was a rising star in the UFC. He was unbeaten and he was the star pupil of Team Alpha Male. After scoring three straight first round knockouts, Garbrandt got a shot at the bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz.

Garbrandt put on the performance of a lifetime and became the bantamweight champion. However, that was the peak of his career and everything went downhill from there. Injuries and having a weaker chin saw Garbrandt go on a a really bad losing streak.

In his last six fights, “No Love” is just 1-5 and he’s been knocked out in four of those fights. The one fight he wasn’t knocked out in, he was completely outclassed by Rob Font. The former UFC champion has honestly looked like a shell of himself.

As mentioned above, he tried to move down to flyweight as a career-reset in December. However, things didn’t go well at all and Garbrandt was knocked out in the first round by Kai Kara-France.

Now, the former UFC champion returns to the weight class that made him a budding star. Perhaps he can recapture some magic. However, if he loses, this might be the end of the road for Garbrandt inside the octagon.

After UFC Vegas 50, is it over for Marlon Moraes?

This past Saturday in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 50, we saw a matchup in the bantamweight division. Former title challenger Marlon Moraes (23-10-1) was looking to right the ship as he took on surging young contender Song Yadong (19-6-1).

Entering UFC Vegas 50, Marlon Moraes had lost three fights in a row and four out of five. In all four of those losses, Moraes had been stopped by TKO. Many, including myself, also thought he lost the fight to Jose Aldo at UFC 245.

However, two of the judges gave the fight to Moraes. Had one judge voted another way, he would’ve entered UFC Vegas 50 on a five-fight losing streak. A steep fall from grace for a guy who was once considered arguably the best bantamweight in the world.

This fight against Song Yadong was an opportunity to reset against a younger contender. However, Yadong didn’t give him any chance to reset. From the opening bell, Yadong was all over Moraes and he was throwing heat.

Moraes landing some good shots here and there, but Yadong was just walking him down. Just two minutes into the first round, Yadong landed a brutal uppercut and combination that put Moraes out cold. UFC Vegas 50 marked the fourth straight TKO loss for Moraes.

Is his UFC run over?

After the fight was over, Mores was viewed taking his gloves off inside the octagon. He didn’t lay them down in the center which is the mark of someone walking away, but he sadly looked down as he held his UFC gloves in his hands.

As mentioned, Moraes was once considered the most dangerous bantamweight on the roster. After losing his UFC debut by split decision, Moraes went on an incredible four-fight winning streak which included a knockout win over current champion Aljamain Sterling.

In an 18-fight stretch between various promotions and the UFC, Moraes went 17-1. He looked like a destroyer who was bound to become the UFC’s bantamweight champion. He had that shot against Henry Cejudo and through one round he dominated.

However, when Cejudo started to fight back, Moraes started to break. Cejudo would go on to finish Moraes and really “Magic” Marlon hasn’t been the same since. So now, he’s 1-5 in his last six and he’s been finished five times. Is the 33-year-old’s UFC run over?

I tend to lean towards yes, but there is one more fight that could be made. That could be a fight with former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt (12-5). Like Moraes, Garbrandt was once considered one of the best in the world. He actually won UFC gold.

However, he’s also just 1-5 in his last six fights. It’s weird how similar their paths look. Garbrandt dropped to 125 pounds and was knocked out in his flyweight debut. The future is cloudy for him just like it is for Moraes. Perhaps the UFC pairs them together and the winner stays while the loser is let go.

What does the UFC do with Cody Garbrandt?

cody garbrandt

This past weekend at UFC 269, Cody Garbrandt (12-5) made his highly anticipated flyweight debut. On the main card of the PPV, the former bantamweight champion took on contender Kai Kara-France (23-9).

Originally, Garbrandt was supposed to make his flyweight debut last year. However, the former bantamweight champion came down with Covid and also suffered a bicep injury that delayed his flyweight debut.

In that original debut, Garbrandt was set to get a UFC title shot. However, after the dust had settled, Garbrandt stayed at bantamweight for a fight with Rob Font. He lost that fight by decision.

With the title tied up, Garbrandt took a fight at 125 to get settled in his new weight class. That fight was with Kai Kara-France at UFC 269. Well, if you watched, you know the fight didn’t go well for ‘No Love’.

After a feeling out process to start the round, Kara-France blasted Garbrandt with a right straight that floored him. Ultimately after a few more exchanges, Kara-France put away the former bantamweight champion.

What’s next after UFC 269?

Nobody would have ever predicted the fall from grace that Cody Garbrandt has had in the UFC. Just a few years ago, he was crowned bantamweight champion after he dethroned Dominick Cruz.

Garbrandt was a perfect 11-0 and looked like he was well on his way to becoming a superstar. He then faced off with former teammate turned rival TJ Dillashaw. When the two fought, Garbrandt looked sensational early and dropped Dillashaw.

However, Dillashaw would finish Garbrandt in the second round of their fight. The two would rematch where Dillashaw would once agains stop Garbrandt this time in the first round.

In his first non-UFC title fight in a few fights, Garbrandt was knocked out in the first round by Pedro Munhoz. He then bounced back by knocking out Raphael Assuncao. However, since that win, he’s now lost two in a row.

Garbrandt is now 1-5 in his last six fights and he’s been dropped a total of seven times in those six fights. The UFC now find themselves in a very delicate position.

Garbrandt is not the cheapest fighter on the roster. The former champion gets paid well, but the performance has to merit the pay and it just hasn’t over the past few years.

I think the UFC will give him one more chance at 125 pounds. However, the next time we see Cody ‘No Love’, his job will likely be on the line.

Kai Kara-France knocks out Cody Garbrandt at UFC 269

kai kara france

On the main card of UFC 269 we saw the highly anticipated flyweight debut of Cody Garbrandt (12-4). The former bantamweight champion dropped down to 125 pounds to take on Kai Kara-France (22-9).

Originally, the former UFC champion was planning on making the drop to flyweight last year. However, after coming down with Covid and having a bicep injury, he decided to stay at bantamweight for one more fight.

That fight came against Rob Font earlier this year. Garbrandt lost that fight and afterwards he decided it was time for him to finally make the switch to 125.

He jumped right in there with one of the more exciting flyweights in the UFC in Kai Kara-France. Overall, Kara-France is 5-2 since making his debut with the UFC.

His two losses came against the current champion Brandon Moreno and top contender Brandon Royval. The last time we saw Kara-France was against Rogerio Bontorin where he won by decision.

UFC 269 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 269 flyweight contest started with a swift low kick from Garbrandt. The size difference is pretty big here in the opening seconds. Both men trade jabs in the center. Garbrandt circles on the outside and he lands another leg kick.

Kara-France ups the pressure here trying to cut Garbrandt off. Garbrandt continues to circles trying to gauge the range. Low kick from Kara-France and he tries to throw a 1-2 behind it. Another low kick from Kara-France. 

Kara-France comes in and Garbrandt just misses with a big counter. Nice jab from Kara-France and he throws a leg kick behind it. Huge right hand from Kara-France drops Garbrandt. Garbrandt jumps right back up but gets dropped again. 

Kara-France is all over him but Garbrandt waves him on. These two reset and they’re back to striking. Garbrandt still looks shaky and Kara-France drops him again. This fight is over and Kai Kara-France spoils the flyweight debut of Cody Garbrandt at UFC 269. 

Kai Kara-France def. Cody Garbrandt by KO – Round 1

UFC 269 Preview: Cody Garbrandt – Kai Kara-France

On the main card of UFC 269 we will see the highly anticipated flyweight debut of Cody Garbrandt (12-4). The former bantamweight champion drops down to 125 pounds to take on Kai Kara-France (22-9).

Originally, the former UFC champion was planning on making the drop to flyweight last year. However, after coming down with Covid and having a bicep injury, he decided to stay at bantamweight for one more fight.

That fight came against Rob Font earlier this year. Garbrandt lost that fight and afterwards he decided it was time for him to finally make the switch to 125.

He jumps right in there with one of the more exciting flyweights in the UFC in Kai Kara-France. Overall, Kara-France is 5-2 since making his debut with the UFC.

His two losses came against the current champion Brandon Moreno and top contender Brandon Royval. The last time we saw Kara-France was against Rogerio Bontorin where he won by decision.

UFC 269 Prediction

This is such a fun fight and one where you truly will not want to look away. Conventional wisdom would say that Cody Garbrandt should have a big advantage when it comes to the power in this fight.

While he definitely will hold an advantage there, he will lose one of his key advantages. In the past, Garbrandt has thrived when he showed off his tremendous hand speed. That speed and power combination made him elite.

It will be interesting to see how that speed translates down at 125. I expect Kara-France to have the speed advantage at UFC 269 which could be a big problem for ‘No Love’.

I’ve gone back and forth with my prediction, and honestly, I wouldn’t be shocked by anything in this fight. Well, I would be shocked if we see the judges.

I expect someone to get finished in this one. I worry about Garbrandt’s chin at UFC 269. He struggled with his chin at 135 and usually cutting extra weight hinders your chin.

All that being said, I really like Garbrandt in this matchup. I see him landing a massive counter and getting the second round finish here.

Prediction: Cody Garbrandt by TKO – Round 2

UFC: Pedro Munhoz contemplating a move to flyweight

Pedro Munhoz, UFC

It looks like one of the top ten contenders in the UFC‘s bantamweight division is considering a change in weight. For the last several years, Pedro Munhoz (19-6, 1 NC) has been one of the toughest outs in the bantamweight division.

Munhoz made his UFC debut back in 2014 at UFC 170 when he took on top contender Raphael Assuncao. That night, Munhoz lost by decision and suffered the first loss of his career.

Since that night, Munhoz has gone 9-5, 1 NC in ten fights with the UFC. Granted three of those losses were razor close split decision losses. Every loss that Munhoz has had in the bantamweight division has come against top competition.

Starting in 2016, Munhoz went on the best run of his career. He went 7-1 with his lone loss coming by way of split decision to former title challenger John Dodson. However, two of the wins he had during that stretch really stand out.

Munhoz submitted Rob Font in the first round and he also knocked out former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt in the first round. However, since that Garbrandt victory, Munhoz is just 1-3 in his last four fights.

UFC contender moving down?

Most recently, Munhoz took on former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 265 a couple of weeks ago. Aldo used his speed and precision striking to fluster Munhoz over the course of three rounds.

While Munhoz had his moments here and there, the fight was largely dominated by Aldo. Today, the UFC released their “Thrill and Agony” video that they normally release following a PPV card.

The behind the scenes video highlights the emotions of fighters on both the winning and losing end of a fight. During the video, the camera caught up to Aldo and Munhoz talking after their fight at UFC 265.

Munhoz said to Aldo, “I might go down to flyweight.” Aldo then said to Munhoz that he thought it might be a good idea. While Munhoz hasn’t stated anything publicly, the move would seemingly make sense.

Munhoz is not a very big bantamweight compared to some of the other guys in the UFC. He definitely looks like he can make 125 pounds. If he does move, he would follow Cody Garbrandt who also moved down to 125 pounds.

Garbrandt has his UFC flyweight debut against Kai Kara-France booked for December. If Garbrandt picks up a win in that matchup, perhaps the UFC runs things back between Munhoz and Garbrandt at 125 pounds.

UFC books Cody Garbrandt’s flyweight debut against Kai Kara-France

The UFC has finalized a fun matchup in the flyweight division. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report last night that the promotion had booked the flyweight bout between former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt (12-4) and Kai Kara-France (22-9, 1 NC).

The fight will take place at a UFC event that is scheduled to take place on December 11th. This will be Cody Garbrandt’s first official fight in the flyweight division after he’s teased the move down in weight for over a year.

He’s going to get an exciting challenge in his first fight. Eleventh ranked Kai Kara-France just looks like someone who is ready to make his way up the latter in the UFC‘s flyweight division.

Since making his debut with the UFC at the end of 2018, Kara-France has gone 5-2 with the promotion. One of those losses came against the current flyweight champion in Brandon Moreno.

The lone other loss came on Fight Island against Brandon Royval in a fight that was incredibly fun to watch. Kara-France last fought at UFC 259 when he knocked out Rogerio Bontorin in the first round.

UFC Flyweight Debut for No Love

Back at UFC 207 in 2016, Cody Garbrandt was on top of the world. He had defeated Dominick Cruz and became the bantamweight champion. Garbrandt was undefeated and looked like he was going to reign over the division for a long time.

However, injuries started hampering his career. Following the title win against Cruz, Garbrandt ended up suffering three consecutive knockout losses between 2017 and 2019. Two of which were in the first round.

The losing streak made you really wonder what the future held for Garbrandt. At UFC 250 last June, he returned against Raphael Assuncao. He looked like the old Cody Garbrandt and scored a highlight reel knockout in the second round.

After that win, Garbrandt accepted a UFC flyweight title fight and wanted to move down in weight. However, an injury and battle with COVID cancelled the fight. After that, he decided to stay at bantamweight a bit longer.

The former champion took on Rob Font back in May in a headliner. Font controlled the entire fight and the former UFC champion really couldn’t get anything going. After that loss, he decided to move to flyweight for the foreseeable future. Now, he has his first opponent and a lot to prove.

Former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt officially moving to flyweight

Cody Garbrandt (12-4) is switching things up. The former UFC bantamweight champion is saying goodbye officially to the weight class that made him a champion. Garbrandt’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, told MMA Junkie that Garbrandt is moving to 125 pounds.

Abdelaziz also followed up on Twitter saying that Garbrandt already has his first fight, but the UFC hasn’t announced it yet. Worth noting that this is the second time that Garbrandt has planned to move down to 125 pounds.

The former champion hit a rough patch in his career after claiming the bantamweight title. Garbrandt lost three consecutive fights by knockout and dealt with numerous injuries after becoming the UFC bantamweight champion.

At UFC 250 last June, Garbrandt returned with a vengeance when he knocked out Raphael Assuncao. After the fight was over, Garbrandt teased that he was thinking about dropping to 125 pounds to challenge for a second world title.

Garbrandt was booked to fight for the flyweight title at UFC 255, but a bicep injury and issues from COVID-19 forced him to pull out of the fight. Instead, Garbrandt decided to stay at 135 pounds. In May, he fought Rob Font and came up short in a headliner. Following the loss, Garbrandt once against thought about a move to 125 pounds.

Who will the UFC book him against?

Garbrandt dropping down is a big deal for the UFC’s flyweight division. Despite being just 1-4 in his last five fights, Cody Garbrandt is still a fan-favorite and a draw. He’s a very exciting addition to the flyweight division.

Now, coming off of a loss means that he’s not going to be challenging for the title right away. Well, at least you would think. I would be jaw-drop shocked if Cody Garbrandt is the first challenger to Brandon Moreno (19-5-2).

More than likely I think the new UFC flyweight champion might rematch with Deiveson Figueiredo (20-2-1). If Figueiredo doesn’t get the trilogy in his next fight, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the UFC pair up Garbrandt and Figueiredo.

The two men were supposed to fight for the title last year and they are both coming off of losses. This would announce Garbrandt’s addition to flyweight in a big way. With Abdelaziz saying that Garbrandt already has a fight, Figueiredo could be a good possibility.

The other leading possibility is a fight with top ten contender Kai Kara France (22-9, 1 NC). The City Kickboxing product recently tweeted out that he has a fight booked and the announcement was coming soon. Perhaps Kara France is going to welcome Garbrandt to the UFC’s flyweight division.

Sound off: Who should Garbrandt fight in his flyweight debut?

After dominant win at UFC Vegas 27, what’s next for Rob Font?

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 27, we saw a pivotal matchup in the bantamweight division. Former champion Cody Garbrandt (12-4) was taking on the surging Rob Font (19-4).

For the first time in a few years, Rob Font was fighting twice within a 12 month period. Font has been one of the brighter prospects in the UFC‘s bantamweight division, but for a while, he struggled to stay active.

However, he had won three in a row leading into UFC Vegas 27. One of those wins came over the current Bellator bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis. Font looked better than ever in his last outing against former title challenger Marlon Moraes.

He picked up the first round knockout and that win earned him a shot against the former UFC champion. However, Garbrandt was going to be a much steeper test. This was a great fight to see where Rob Font was in terms of the elite.

Well, Font looked sensational on Saturday night. The first round was very close with him getting taken down a couple of times, however, after that round, it was all Font. He dominated with his jab and lit Garbrandt up on his way to a dominant decision win at UFC Vegas 27.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 27?

While it’s a massive win for Rob Font, he didn’t move at all in this week’s UFC rankings. Font is locked in at the third spot behind Cory Sandhagen (14-2) and former champion Petr Yan.

Sandhagen is scheduled to face former UFC champion TJ Dillashaw (16-4) in July. That fight is being considered a likely title eliminator with the winner fighting the winner of the rematch between Yan and Aljamain Sterling.

Sterling and Yan are expected to run things back in the fall. With that, what’s next for Rob Font? Well, the UFC could have Font face the winner of Sandhagen – Dillashaw if the Sterling – Yan title fight takes a while to materialize.

That’s definitely an option for Font. Another option would be taking on former featherweight champion Jose Aldo (29-7) should Aldo win his next fight. Aldo is taking on Pedro Munhoz in August and if he wins that fight, a matchup with Font could make a lot of sense.

What’s next for Cody Garbrandt after UFC Vegas 27?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 27, former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt (12-4) took on Rob Font (19-4) in the main event. This was a pivotal matchup between two top five contenders in the bantamweight division.

Garbrandt was making his first appearance since UFC 250 last June. That night, the former champion knocked out Raphael Assuncao in the second round. That win snapped a three-fight losing streak for the former champion.

After that win, Garbrandt intended to move to flyweight to challenge for the UFC flyweight title. However, a battle with COVID-19 and injuries kept Garbrandt out for a significant amount of time.

After resuming training, Garbrandt decided to stay at 135 pounds for now. Ultimately, Garbrandt said that he wanted to hold two UFC titles at the same time. He was undecided on which division he would pursue.

The former champion looked motivated and focused heading into UFC Vegas 27. However, that focus didn’t translate to the performance. While Garbrandt landed some decent shots, Rob Font beat him to the punch and pretty much dominated on Saturday night.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 27?

After this loss, the former UFC champion is just 1-4 in his last five fights. So, where does ‘No Love’ go from here? Well, a lot of that will depend on which weight class he decides to pursue.

As mentioned, he seemed torn between flyweight and bantamweight moving forward. The UFC has options for him depending on which weight class he decides to pursue and there are options.

If he moves down to 125 pounds, I think a fight with someone like Alex Perez (24-6) makes a lot of sense. Perez is coming off a loss in a title fight and he’s squarely in the mix. If Garbrandt moved down and defeated Perez, he’d likely be right in line for a title shot.

If Garbrandt decides to stay at bantamweight, the UFC could pair him with someone like Marlon Moraes (23-8-1). Moraes is in a very similar position having gone 1-3 in his last four although the one win should’ve been a loss.

Magic Marlon is still ranked sixth in the division so Garbrandt would still be getting a top opponent. Either one of these fights would make sense for the former champion, but it will all come down to which weight class he wants to try next.