Now that Cody Garbrandt is UFC bantamweight champion, he's already looking ahead to "money" fights against the bigger names in the UFC. And there's no bigger money fight than one against the UFC lightweight champion, #ConorMcGregor.
Garbrandt appeared on The MMA Hour to discuss his plans for the future with Ariel Helwani. And while just about all of the signs point to a title defense against the deserving TJ Dillashaw, Garbrandt isn't quite ready to commit to that fight just yet.
“I need to sit down with Dana [White] and Sean [Shelby], and find out the biggest money fight for me,” the 25-year-old said. It's no secret that Garbrandt has superstar written all over him, from his good look to this touching backstory with leukemia survivor Maddux Maple, and the UFC is prepared to push him to the moon. Garbrandt also realizes his potential and is ready to cash in sooner than later. And if that means a jump up in weight to fight the biggest names in the UFC, the unbeaten Team Alpha Male fighter is all for it.
“I am young enough to go up, and I’ll fight anybody," he said. "But to be honest, I truly believe that I’m ready to fight and I believe that I go out there and put on a performance. And I’m a draw. I want the biggest money fight for me right now."
The biggest money fight for #CodyGarbrandt would obviously be against McGregor, who Garbrandt has a little bit of a backstory with. Garbrandt had a run in with the Irishman on The Ultimate Fighter when McGregor was coaching opposite Garbrandt's coach, Urijah Faber. After McGregor taunted Faber by calling Dillashaw a "snake in the grass" for defecting from Team Alpha Male, "No Love" took the barbs personally and engaged in a heated back and forth that ended in a shoving match.
Now, with both as champions, a fight between the two isn't too much of a stretch.
"He knows that I’d go up to 150 and catchweight with him," Garbrandt said. "I could have the biggest fight with Conor [McGregor]. I could easily go up. My homie Nate Diaz choked him out, and I can’t believe he’s pound-for-pound No. 2 on the list, with, you know he got choked out.”
With a little bit of payback on his mind and a target return date of mid-2017, the stars could align for a fight between the two. And Garbrandt would love to cash in while exacting revenge on the UFC's biggest star.
"I have nothing against the guy as far as a fighter," Garbrandt said. "But I’ll tell you what, somebody puts their hands on me and I didn’t do sh-t about it, I’d be wanting to get them back each time. That’s for sure.”
It's safe to say that Garbrandt is primed for stardom. But it will be interesting to see if the UFC will give in to Garbrandt's suggestion now or allow a potential fight between the two to stew for a while in an effort to make it as big as possible.