Cody Garbrandt wants slot on UFC 203 in home state of Ohio after UFC Fight Night 88 win

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Cody Garbrandt (photo credit David Dermer © USA Today Sports)

Fresh off his most impressive victory to date Sunday at UFC Fight Night 88, bantamweight Cody Garbrandt wants a slot on the next card in his home state of Ohio.

“No interest in any name, just whoever wants to come dance with me at UFC 203 in Cleveland,” Garbrandt said in the post-fight press conference (transcribed by “Strap those boots on night, because I’m going to knock you out of them.”

Garbrandt’s KO win over Thomas Almeida has him poised to invade the top 10-15 in the bantamweight division, and he’s hoping to secure a fight with whichever fighter moves him another rung up the ladder.

“Anybody that’s ahead of me intrigues me – anybody that’s another stepping stone for me to get to the title, that’s what I got into this sport for, to be a world champion,” Garbrandt said. “I made a pact to my buddy Maddux Maple, that he beat cancer and I was going to bring the title back to my city. I’m on a vision quest and that’s what I want to do – to be a world champion and give him the world title.”

Penick’s Analysis: Garbrandt converted doubters on Sunday night, without question. I was in that camp; I thought Almeida’d had the more impressive run, beaten the more difficult opposition, and Garbrandt’s struggles against Henry Briones last summer stuck out. That seems more like the aberration than anything, as Sunday was the pressure spot, his first main event, and he had his biggest and best performance in that position. At only 24, there’s every reason to believe he can now make that run towards a title fight, and if what we saw Sunday is a sign of things to come it’s going to be an enjoyable run to watch.

[Photo (c) David Dermer via USA Today Sports]

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