Cody “No Love” Garbrandt was an absolute wrecking machine during his rise to the top of the UFC 135 pound division. After defeating Dominick Cruz to win the belt, his UFC glory has come crumbling down rather hurriedly.
Cody Garbrandt suffered his third consecutive loss on Saturday night in Los Vegas against number 9 ranked Bantamweight fighter Pedro Munhoz. It is also the third straight KO/TKO loss for Garbrandt, the other two both coming against current Bantamweight champion and arch-rival of Garbrandt, T.J. Dillashaw.
Garbrandt did not have much luck against Munhoz, as the 32-year-old Brazilian TKO’d Garbrandt in the first round for his 18th professional MMA victory.
GARBRANDT VS MUNHOZ
In a wild fight that lasted only 4 minutes and 51 seconds, Garbrandt and Munhoz came out ready. Only a few seconds into the fight, Munhoz caught one of Garbrandt’s kicks and pushed him towards the cage. Garbrandt stayed on his feet as Munhoz went to the ground in pursuit of a leg lock. Garbrandt worked out of it rather quickly and the two were back to their feet. The next three minutes were spent by the two trying to get a feel for each other’s speed and range and exchanging various jabs and kicks. Nothing major was landed by either fighter, but Munhoz landed many effective leg kicks to Garbrandt’s left leg which added up over time and Garbrandt was noticeably in some pain.
With one minute left in the round, things got real interesting really quickly. Munhoz threw a head kick which Garbrandt managed to block, and then a left hook that wobbled Garbrandt. Garbrandt fell to the canvas and Munhoz dove over the top of the former champion and worked his way into half guard. Garbrandt managed to avoid taking any major blows and got back to his feet. He immediately regained his balanced and hit the incoming Munhoz with a flying knee to the face which landed cleanly. Cody threw a combination and knocked Munhoz backwards. Garbrandt then made the same mistake he made against T.J. Dillashaw back in UFC 217 and 227.
After some big shots were landed, Garbrandt got a bit too excited and let his emotions take control. Both fighters are known for their knockout power, nine of Cody’s first ten professional fights came by KO or TKO, and he won seven of those nine fights inside the first round. Munhoz has more submission victories than knockouts over the years, but also has a powerful right hand. Both fighters put on a display in the last minute of the fight.
Garbrandt let all technique go out the window after realizing Munhoz was hurt, and started to chase in attempt to land the knockout punch he had landed on so many others. Garbrandt went right after Munhoz throwing monster right hands with reckless abandon. Munhoz has a chin of granite, and if he was not known for it before this fight he certainly is now. With 30 seconds left in the round, Munhoz realized that Garbrandt was going for the kill, and the two gave up on any strategy and started exchanging haymakers. Both landed some heavy right hands and were both clearly hurt. Garbrandt landed a knee to the face and Munhoz responded with his own right hand, but Garbrandt was swinging for the fences. It was all a matter of who was going to break first.
With 12 seconds left in the round, Garbrandt repeated mistake number two made in both of his bouts with Dillashaw. The two loaded up their right hands, ready to fire again. Garbrandt loaded up and threw the punch, but as he did in his previous two fights, he dropped his left hand as he threw the right hook, leaving a clear window for Munhoz to land a shot. Munhoz hit Garbrandt in the side of the face with a right hook of his own, dropping the former champion. Garbrandt covered up unable to respond and Munhoz finished the fight with only seconds to spare in the round.
A third consecutive loss will not sit well with Garbrandt, but the young 27-year-old fighter has a lot of room to improve and will keep fighting in order to get back to the top of the division. Garbrandt posted on Twitter stating “.. I love this fight game. I’ll be back thank you to all my supporters means a lot!”
Garbrandt will have a tough and most likely long road ahead to get back to the top of the Division, but he is nowhere near the end of his fighting career and is still hungry to become champ once more.
MUNHOZ WANTS A TITLE SHOT
Pedro Munhoz stated in his post-fight octagon interview that he wanted to fight for the title next. He has been a threat in the Bantamweight division for a while, but after knocking out the former champion, he is definitely a lot closer to fighting for the title.
BANTAMWEIGHT DIVISION HEATING UP
The Bantamweight contenders may have some trouble getting a title fight, as current champion T.J. Dillashaw is most interested in a rematch with Henry Cejudo after losing the super fight between them for the Flyweight championship. A rematch is likely to occur at 135 pounds, but both fighters are interested in a rematch regardless. After that fight, there will be some interesting match-ups to be made in the Bantamweight division. Dominick Cruz, currently ranked fourth in the division beat Dillashaw back in 2016, and Dillashaw will likely be interested in a rematch with him at some point in the future. Other fighters in the mix are Marlon Moreas, Raphael Assuncao, and Aljamain Sterling, who are all ranked in the top five.