Cody Garbrandt isn’t wasting any time in his attempt to make history in the UFC.
Following a win over Dominick Cruz this past December to win the bantamweight title, Garbrandt signed on to coach the newest season of “The Ultimate Fighter” and then later this summer he’ll settle an old beef with his former teammate T.J. Dillashaw as he looks to make the first defense of his championship.
If all goes well against Dillashaw, Garbrandt is already thinking ahead to his next challenge and that’s a move down to 125 pounds to challenge the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.
“I could go to [125 pounds]. Obviously, T.J. [Dillashaw] first and foremost, solely focused on him, but you got to think Conor [McGregor]’s out, Conor’s not fighting. [Jose] Aldo and [Max] Holloway are fighting so that ties up Demetrious [Johnson]. He’s pound-for-pound best. Incredible fighter. Great human, I like him a lot and his family but for me it’s a legacy that I set out to build,” Garbrandt said recently on the AMP podcast.
“Friendships are friendships, but it’s business at the end of the day. I think that can go on as a huge fight, especially for that division, it’s kind of lackluster.”
Johnson will look to make history for himself when he steps into the Octagon on April 15 to face Wilson Reis while defending his title for a 10th consecutive time. A win over Reis would tie Johnson with Anderson Silva for the all time record in the UFC.
Garbrandt would love nothing more than to serve as the obstacle in Johnson’s path as he tries to break the record later this year.
The current bantamweight champion also believes right now would be the prime time to make this fight because it would be an easier cut to 125 pounds rather than waiting until later when he might also pursue fights in the featherweight division as well.
“I’d rather go down before I go up,” Garbrandt explained. “Demetrious has a fight with Wilson Reis in the not too distant future so that’s coming up and he’ll tie Anderson Silva’s [title defense] record and his next fight would be the all-time record.
“So I mean he has all that going. Sean Shelby, Dana White, [I want to be a] two time champ.”
At some point in the future, Garbrandt says he would also like the chance to pursue a third title in the UFC while also potentially avenging some prior losses for his teammates to current featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
“Jose Aldo, I would like to fight him as well,” Garbrandt said. “He’s the champion right now. He has wins over my teammates, too, so that’s something. Our camp knows Aldo. At my time to go up to 145 and Aldo’s still the champion, I’d love to go against another legend.”
First things first, Garbrandt knows he has to get past Dillashaw.
If that fight goes the way he expects, Garbrandt would love nothing more than to add a second world title to his resume while offering Johnson the toughest fight of his entire career.
“The time’s now for me. That fight to be on the horizon, I really feel that should be after the T.J. fight of course, Dominick [Cruz], I’ll wait and see if Dominick wants to come back and if not I’m going to go after Demetrious,” Garbrandt said.
“That’s the fight that’s next on my mind after T.J. Always plan for one ahead. Prepared for T.J. but Demetrious is in the foreshadows.”