UFC 300: Cody Garbrandt Foresees ‘Huge PPV Draw’ in Fight With UFC Champ

Garbrandt believes a scrap with ‘Sugar’ would pull in massive numbers.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Cody Garbrandt hasn’t forgotten about a fight with Sean O’Malley.

Entering UFC 300 with back-to-back wins, “No Love” gets a massive step up in competition against fellow former champ Deiveson Figueiredo to kick off an incredible night of fights in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It’s a major opportunity for Garbrandt to return to the UFC’s top 15 rankings as a win over the #8 contender Figueiredo would secure his place among the best in the world.

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Garbrandt climbed that ladder in 2016 when he dethroned the legendary Dominick Cruz in a masterclass performance to become the UFC Bantamweight Champion at UFC 207. 

It was a steep fall from the top as the Ohio native suffered multiple losses. Garbrandt has once again found his footing and will vie to reclaim what was once his against a familiar face in ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley or whoever that may be. 

UFC 300: Cody Garbrandt Foresees ‘Huge PPV Draw’ in Fight With UFC Champ
Sean O'Malley defended his bantamweight crown for the first time at UFC 299. / Craig Kidwell-USA TODAY Sports

“Definitely, [if] he's still the champion once it's my time to fight for the title again and regain the title, I should say,” Garbrandt said of a potential fight with the current champion at UFC 300 media day. 

“I'm happy with that fight because that's gonna be a huge pay-per-view draw. No other bantamweight in the division moves a needle like I do. I just gotta focus on winning and everything else will fall into place.”

Garbrandt and O’Malley are no strangers to each other. The two bantamweights ran into each other years ago at the UFC 269 press conference. ‘Sugar’ took shots at Garbrandt having one win since 2017 (this was in Dec. 2021) while “No Love” had no respect for O’Malley’s resume of names up to that point.

Following the back-and-forth banter, O’Malley even entertained the idea of a face-off ‘for the future’ and Garbrandt walked up to him before the two were held back and ultimately separated.

Should Garbrandt claw his way back to title contention, the former champ says a second title reign would be ‘more meaningful’ than the first in 2016-2017.

“The first time was great. I don't think you can script [it better],” Garbrandt told Kevin Iole, regarding his first title win against Dominick Cruz. “I don't think there's another title fight that had that kind of masterclass performance against one of the best bantamweights to ever race the world in Dominick Cruz.

“I mean, it'll be different, but I think that it'll be more meaningful because it wasn't a straight shot to the top. It was climb, fall, climb back, fall, climbing back. I had to get all my tools out to climb this mountain, you know? And that's what I'm doing now. I'm strapped in. I'm ten toes down in this game and just excited to go out there and showcase to the world that I'm still here, that I still love this sport. I'm still grateful to be able to wake up every day and chase this dream. 

“When my time's called to fight for the title and be a world champion again, [I’ll] be more than ready,” Garbrandt concluded.

Cody Garbrandt takes a big step to making that a reality in his fight with top contender Deiveson Figueiredo. 

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Chris De Santiago