UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt wants to go down to 125 lbs and challenge Demetrious Johnson for his title.
The UFC’s flyweight division has only had one champion in its five-year history: current #1 pound-for-pound Demetrious Johnson. Apart from the first John Dodson fight and the opening round of his most recent bout against Tim Elliott, no one has really come close to taking the belt away from “Mighty Mouse.”
As Johnson closes in on breaking Anderson Silva’s all-time UFC record for most consecutive title defenses, undefeated UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt said on the Aubrey Marcus Podcast that after his July title defense against rival T.J. DIllashaw, he has his sights set on dropping to flyweight to challenge DJ. (Transcription via MMA Fighting)
“Now, Demetrious, he’s the pound-for-pound best – justifiably so, an incredible fighter, great human. I like him a lot. And his family. But for me, it’s a legacy that I set out to build. Friendships are friendships but it’s business at the end of the day and I think that I can go on as a huge fight, especially for that division. It’s kind of lackluster a lot.”
Garbrandt became the UFC’s newest king at 135 lbs with a unanimous decision win over Dominick Cruz at UFC 207. He later explained his reason for wanting to go down to 125 (where he’s never competed before) as opposed to having Mighty Mouse face him at 135.
“I’d rather go down before I go up. Demetrious has a fight with Wilson Reis in the not-too-distant future. That’s coming up, so he’ll tie Anderson Silva’s record. Then his next fight will be the all-time record. So he has all that. . . [I want to] make him earn it.
“I think that’s something that I need to do. I’m young – 25 – so rather than cut when I’m older, try to go down, go now. The time is now for me with that fight. I really think that should be – after the TJ fight of course – if Dominick [Cruz], I think he’s not coming. I’ll wait and see if Dominick wants to come back. If not, I’m willing to go after Demetrious. That’s the fight that’s next in my mind after TJ. I always plan one ahead. I’m prepared for TJ but Demetrious is in the foreshadows.”
Garbrandt also ambitiously stated that he wants to go after the featherweight belt (currently held by Jose Aldo) and become UFC champion in three weight classes, which has never been done before.
You can watch video of Garbrandt’s appearance at the top of the page. Garbrandt and Dillashaw are the head coaches on season 25 of The Ultimate Fighter, which premieres on Wednesday, April 19th on Fox Sports 1.