After an electric and crushing victory against Brazilian Thomas Almeida, Team Alpha Male’s Cody “No Love” Garbrandt earned some major respect while remaining undefeated as a professional. Garbrandt also positioned himself for a title run at the Bantamweight belt. His quick and technical striking overwhelmed Almeida from the opening bell, and his raw, impressive power earned him his fourth victory in the UFC and third by KO/TKO. Who he should fight next; however, is a hard question to answer.
The current Bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz, is of course fighting #3 ranked Uriah Faber at the upcoming UFC 199. #1 ranked and former champion TJ Dillashaw will face off against #5 Raphael Assuncao at UFC 200 for what has to be the number one contender to battle the winner of Cruz vs. Faber 3. Renan Barao sits at the #2 spot but has moved to Featherweight and just suffered a loss to Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens in last night’s co-main event.
#4 Aljamain Sterling was defeated last night as well by #8 Bryan Caraway, who will be looking for his next opponent too. #6 Michael “Mayday” Mcdonald will battle #11 John Lineker in July.
In the post fight press conference, Garbrandt expressed interest in fighting in his home state of Ohio at UFC 203 in Cleveland.
Because Almeida was Garbrandt’s first ranked opponent, Garbrandt could just be given another ranked opponent, even one who currently sits behind Almeida. While that fight may seem to be taking a step backward, it would give him a chance to feature on a pay-per-view main card as a ranked fighter while allowing him another chance to establish himself further. He is probably still behind Bryan Caraway at this point. If Michael Mcdonald wins his next fight, then perhaps Caraway and McDonald would square off for the next number one contender spot.
Depending on where Garbrant is ranked, he could fight the loser of Dillashaw vs. Assuncao, but that would be a quick turn for both of those fighters to get ready for UFC 203. “Rewarding” Garbrandt with the loser of a match also seems a bit unproductive too.
Garbrandt refused to call anyone out after his victory last night, however. He said he would be happy with any ranked fighter for UFC 203, a request the UFC will certainly be glad to oblige. The Team Alpha Male product is on the fast track to UFC gold, stating his case that the future is now.