Cody Garbrandt targets March return to UFC, hopefully in home state of Ohio
LOS ANGELES – Cody Garbrandt is on the road to recovery and already has mapped out when and where he’d like to fight next.
The former UFC bantamweight champion is currently sidelined because of a wrist injury and hopes to return in the first quarter of 2020. Speaking to reporters Tuesday during Dominance MMA media day, Garbrandt said he hopes the UFC makes it’s return to his home state of Ohio.
“I’m hoping for March return, hopefully sooner,” Garbrandt said. “I talked to Dana a few days ago. I would like for the UFC to come back to Ohio in March. There’s the Arnold Classic there. It’s a great time to go and do that, so we’ll see. We got Stipe (Miocic) as the champion again, so Stipe fighting in Ohio the home state, I would love to, and that’s where I’m at with that. I’m excited to come back.”
Garbrandt (11-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) had a fast rise in the UFC, capturing the bantamweight title in under two years by putting on a memorable performance vs. Dominick Cruz in December 2016.
But since then, he’s dropped three in a row, which has forced “No Love” to sit back and take some time off. However, the consistency of top talent and big names in the 135-pound division has made Garbrandt eager to return.
“I’ve been a little injury prone these last few fights and camps, but I’m taking my time, and I just turned 28. I have a lot of life and fight in me,” Garbrandt said. “My hunger is still – everyday I wake up excited to get back. My division is one of the most entertaining, best divisions in the UFC. You got Frankie coming down, you got Edgar, you got Marlon (Moraes), you got Henry (Cejudo), Dominick’s (Cruz) making his comeback, you got T.J. ‘Pillashaw,’ he’ll probably be back. You know he’s taken his steroids, so it’s a good division. Those are all good guys, so it keeps me excited.”
Having fought four times in 2016, Garbrandt never really took the time to heal past injuries properly, which is why he’s making sure to take the right amount of time to recover from the torn tendon he suffered in his wrist during training.
“I’m not going to rush this recovery process,” Garbrandt said. “I thought when I was younger, especially being the champion, I wanted to defend that as quickly and as much as I could, and four fights in one year, my body it came as a cost, and I was able to become a champion. I tasted it a little bit, and I’m more hungry than I’ve ever been. I have to go back up the mountain a different way, a different path, and I’m excited for that.”