Cody Garbrandt believed he was better than Thomas Almeida into UFC Fight Night 88 despite having 13 fewer fights under his belt, and he proved it on Sunday night in Las Vegas.
In what was easily the defining performance of the 24-year-old Team Alpha Male product’s young career, Garbrandt beat Almeida to the punch in almost every exchange, eventually sending him down and out just 2:53 into the opening round.
It was Garbrandt off the bat; he pressed ahead on Almeida and was comfortable as in each early exchange. He then connected on a massive combination that hurt Almeida, and stayed patient in order to defend when Almeida predictably recovered and fired back. Garbrandt stayed on the hunt, and found his target again with another big flurry ending in a right hand that sent Almeida crashing to the mat. A follow up strike saw “Big” John McCarthy pull Garbrandt off to give him the win.
With wins in all nine of his career fights, and eight of them by (T)KO, Garbrandt now hopes to get the respect he clearly deserves via a spot in the UFC’s official rankings. He believes he’s the hardest hitter in the division, and is eying a run towards the UFC Bantamweight Championship.
[Photo (c) David Dermer via USA Today Sports]
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