Former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt is eyeing up a flyweight title opportunity against Deiveson Figueiredo in March.
Garbrandt and Figueiredo were scheduled to fight on Saturday, December 12; however, Figueiredo ended up fighting Alex Perez who he submitted in the first round via guillotine choke. Garbrandt was forced to pull out due to ongoing health problems after contracting COVID-19.
Garbrandt told ESPN he expects to get a flyweight title shot on March 6, and gave his opinions on how he thinks Figueiredo will do against Brandon Moreno at UFC 256.
"I feel like [Figueiredo] is gonna run over that kid," Garbrandt said. "That's another lamb being led to the slaughterhouse, and that's fine. Let him build up that hype, that 'Holy shit, this kid is the real deal.' There will be no backing down from me. I'm excited for this fight."
Garbrandt pulled out of the Figueiredo fight due to a torn vein in his arm caused by a blood clot. Physicians told Garbrandt the clot was likely the result of his COVID-19, which is known to thicken the blood. Garbrandt also detailed that he has not returned a negative COVID-19 test since August.
Even though Garbrandt has never fought at flyweight, he anticipates the weight cut will be simple. Garbrandt says his current walk-around weight is approximately 143-pounds, considerably lower than Figueiredo.
"I just think he smashes everyone in this division (other than himself)," Garbrandt said. "These guys sit there in front of him, and that's where he throws bombs. I move too much. I'm too quick. I'm in and out. These fighters don't know how to fight backwards. Pressure is all they know. My game plan will be how I fought Dominick Cruz" Dominick Cruz was the man who Garbrandt defeated to win the UFC bantamweight title.