Cody Garbrandt predicts a KO win, still wants to fight John Lineker
Exclusive interview with Cody "No Love" Garbrandt, ahead of his fight with Augusto Mendes at UFC Fight Night 83.
The men’s bantamweight division in the UFC is currently going through an interesting phase. After everyone thought TJ Dillashaw had run through the entire division, former champion Dominick Cruz stepped up and stopped TJ last month. With Cruz now holding the title, the division is once again wide open, and a lot of fighters are now trying to make noise and move up in the rankings.
Cody Garbrandt is one of those fighters who are hungry and trying to make waves at 135. A 2 fight veteran in the UFC, and at just 24 years old, Cody is already seen as a prospect, who was scheduled to fight John Lineker at UFC Fight Night 83.
However, Lineker was pulled from the card due to a case of dengue, and multiple time BJJ world champion, Augusto Mendes has stepped up to make his UFC debut.
The fight will now be at catchweight (142), with the fact that Mendes had only six days to shed 26 pounds to make 135. However, in Cody Garbrandt’s case, he believes he has had the best training camp of his career.
So what does “No Love” think about his new opponent, and about the matching up of their styles? Cody isn’t too worried. “Stylistically, I’m a bad matchup for him. I’m fast; I’m too fast and move around a lot on my feet. He’s not going to be able to come in and take me down since I’m too fast and I’ve been wrestling my whole life; it was my first passion and my first love,” Cody said.
Reminiscing his wrestling roots, Cody revealed, “I used to wrestle when I was young; I used to grapple since I was young. I dictate where the fight goes in all my fights, and if I like to keep it standing, that works. So you know, use my wrestling and keep it standing, and knock him out.”
He added,“So, yeah, he’s going to work hard for a takedown, and I’m looking forward to this fight. I respect him for taking the fight on six days’ notice, to give me the opportunity to fight. But I understand that he will take this as an opportunity to make a name; he’s got nothing to lose, taking the fight on six days’ notice. He’s trying to be the hero, and make the most out of his UFC debut for sure.”
Team Alpha Male’s founder and UFC veteran Urijah Faber has heaped praises on Cody, and in a recent interview, told us that Cody is soon going to be a contender for the title. With the bantamweight division now once again promising some exciting fights, thanks to Cruz defeating the former champion, Cody is excited about his future at 135.
“I’m glad. I’m glad that there are some big names and exciting fighters, and that keeps me hungry, keeps me motivated to get better. Keeps me motivated to stay focused and look forward to fighting these guys, and put on exciting fights for our fans. I think our division has a lot of tough, highly skilled fighters and I’m amongst one of them; I should be the best.
So who does Cody want to fight after Mendes? He still has his eyes set on John Lineker. “I’d love to. I get a knockout win over Mendes this Sunday (Monday morning in India), the focus is on him first and foremost. But after that, I’d like to fight John (Lineker). That’s a fight I’m looking forward to; he dodged a bullet in this fight.”
“Obviously, all the talking is done, and he ran, and you just don’t do that. You don’t get bit by a mosquito and think it’s over. So, I hope he gets healthy and overcomes that and hopefully we can do it at a later date. But my focus right now is on Mendes, getting the win and focus on what’s next for my career.”
When asked if he thought 135 was his optimum weight class, or if he’d be open to moving up to 145 in the future, Cody said, “Yeah, never say never, but 135 is my division, and I’m going to wipe out this division, and maybe down the road in my career, to achieve different goals or whatever, I won’t mind 145. But, 135 pounds is my division, and I’m looking forward to making a huge statement this year in 2016.”
“I want to thank everybody that has supported me, tune in this Sunday on Fox Sports 1 (in United States). I’m going to go out there, put on a show and get a big knockout win.”
Also, Cody had a few words of encouragement for the UFC fans in India, who want to see the fights live in the country someday. “I’d love to come to India, I’d love to get involved and hopefully UFC comes over there, and we can have a show live for the Indian people.”
You can catch UFC Fight Night 83: Cerrone vs. Oliveira this Monday, 22nd February at 7:30 AM IST, live and exclusively on SONY ESPN and SONY ESPN HD.