Cody Garbrandt calls for bantamweight contender bout with Bryan Caraway at UFC 203 in Cleveland

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Cody Garbrandt (photo credit Joshua Dahl © USA Today Sports)

Cody Garbrandt looked fantastic at UFC Fight Night 88 on Sunday, knocking out Thomas Almeida in the main event. Now, the Ohio native wants on the UFC 2o3 card in his home state of Ohio this September, and he thinks the right fight should come against Sunday’s other big bantamweight winner: Bryan Caraway.

“Going into this fight with Thomas Almeida, obviously Aljamain Sterling and Bryan Caraway [were] matched up [on the card] too, and they talked about the winners facing each other,” Garbrandt said in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “So, I have no doubt in my mind that if Aljamain would’ve won, I’d be fighting Aljamain. Bryan won, so now why can’t I fight Bryan? Why shouldn’t I be fighting Bryan for the next in line for a title shot or that ranking up there? I think I just got ranked fifth, he’s fourth, so let’s fight Sept. 10 [at UFC 203].

“I’ve seen him do some bantering in the media about how he said I don’t deserve to be ahead of him, but look: My win was dominant. My win was no questions,” Garbrandt continued. “You had a close fight with Aljamain. I went through there and destroyed my adversary in under three minutes, who was looked at as untouchable, unbeatable, so I deserve not only to have the title shot in front of him, but he also says that he has the strongest jaw.

“He has a good chin, that’s what he credits himself on. He has the [best] chin in the division, in the UFC. I have the heaviest hands in my division. I’m the hardest puncher, the fastest fighter in my division. So I said, ‘Why don’t we put those to the test?’ No disrespect, let’s fight Sept. 10 in Cleveland at the Q [The Quicken Loans Arena] for that number-one contender spot, Bryan Caraway.”

Penick’s Analysis: It’s the most sensible bantamweight fight to make given what’s already on the schedule. Caraway for some reason thinks he deserves a title shot right now, but all of the bantamweight on Sunday’s card were behind whomever wins the T.J. Dillashaw vs. Raphael Assuncao fight at UFC 200. This fight could determine the next challenger after that, and would be great for the Sept. 10 event in Cleveland.

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