At the end of 2016, Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt was on top of the MMA world, he had just claimed the UFC Bantamweight championship in an incredibly impressive victory over Dominick Cruz.
Going into the title fight, many fans expected a close contest and it was a divided opinion as to who would win. No-one expected the 25-year-old fighter to win in such a dominant fashion, dropping Cruz multiple times during the fight and almost finishing him in the fourth round. The question was burning, could anyone dethrone Garbrandt? Or were we witnessing the dawn of a new era. It didn’t take long for us to get an answer.
Two quick losses to rival TJ Dillashaw put an immediate end to all talk of Garbrandt dominating the division, and following his loss to Pedro Munhoz at UFC 235, we ask the question… what is next for Cody Garbrandt?
Comeback or Retirement?
It seems that fans and experts alike are claiming that Garbrandt has but two viable options remaining, moving camps and attempting a comeback (a la TJ Dillashaw), or retirement at the age of just 27.
Garbrandt is so dedicated to Team Alpha Male that it would be incredibly unlikely to see him leave – this was the root cause of his rivalry with former friend Dillashaw. However it does feel like it could be his only chance at surviving this downturn in his career, his emotions consistently get the better of him inside the Octagon, and against the top fighters in the division simply swinging your fists quickly is not good enough.
He needs something to kickstart his career, something to reset his focus and keep him in the moment during fights. Not losing his concentration to emotion, as has been his downfall. If he can do this, he will be able to return to the top of the division just as quickly as he climbed the first time.
A fight against another opponent like Munhoz would be the best bet for No Love, someone within the top 10, but ideally avoiding the top five, so he can get a win under his belt. If he does fall to a fourth successive defeat, it could spell the end of what was once an incredibly promising career.