Cody Garbrandt just won the bantamweight title in December but he’s not lost on the opportunities that come along now that he’s a UFC champion.
In the age where fighters like Conor McGregor are bouncing between divisions to win two titles and other champions such as Tyron Woodley and Michael Bisping are willing to fight each other to put on the biggest matchups possible, Garbrandt is more than ready to throw himself into the mix.
While Garbrandt already knows his next opponent will be former teammate TJ Dillashaw after coaching against him on “The Ultimate Fighter”, he’s still looking at the big picture for his career, which he hopes will include a future super fight against featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
Article continues below ...
“I’m the bantamweight champion. It’s about taking care of myself and you have a short window of opportunity in this game. I understand that. I love to fight and I love to entertain. So whatever the best matchup is for the UFC and for me, we’ll get on the same page and go from there,” Garbrandt told FOX Sports.
“If Jose Aldo wants to get it, I can go up to 145 and beat another legend, too.”
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
There’s also a personal motivation for Garbrandt to challenge Aldo thanks to the featherweight champion holding a pair of wins over his teammate Chad Mendes as well as a victory over recently retired Team Alpha Male founder Urijah Faber.
“Jose Aldo has some wins over my teammates. He’s good, he’s a legend. I would like to test his chin,” Garbrandt said. “I know he’s got good striking but I’m fast, powerful and I’m a better martial artist. It would be a good fight. Mixing that up, 135 and 145, I’m young enough that I can go up. But it’s whatever.”
If there’s a third reason that Garbrandt is already calling for a fight with Aldo before he event makes his first title defense it’s due to timing.
Just recently, Aldo contemplated retirement and hinted at an exit from the UFC and while he’s now recommitted to fighting again, Garbrandt can’t be certain how long the legendary featherweight champion will be sticking around.
Add to that, Aldo has already been through some wars in his career and Garbrandt wants the chance to face him while he’s still in his prime rather than catching him during his decline.
“I look at it like this — Jose Aldo isn’t going to have that many more years to go and I don’t want to get him outside his prime,” Garbrandt said. “He’s looking great, he had a great fight with Frankie Edgar, probably one of the toughest guys in the UFC. I don’t know how long he’s going to be around fighting for so why not make this matchup?
“Look at the (Floyd) Mayweather-(Manny) Pacquiao fight. They should have fought each other years and years ago. I’m not comparing us to Mayweather and Pacquiao and boxing is a different sport, but why not make the super fights? Why not?”
The UFC has certainly seemed more open to super fights between divisions lately than ever before so perhaps it’s possible Garbrandt will get his wish to one day fight Aldo inside the Octagon.
First things first, Garbrandt has a showdown with Dillashaw set for later this year while Aldo awaits the chance to unify the featherweight title with current interim champion Max Holloway.