UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt has ambitions beyond the 135lb. division.
The most likely of those goals to occur has been a long-standing desire to drop down ten pounds to flyweight to face off with fellow champion Demetrious Johnson. Garbrandt reiterated his desire to do so after he fights nemesis T.J Dillashaw at UFC 217 next month in an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
He did, however, revisit an old rivalry that threatened to explode in 2015. As part of Urijah Faber’s team on The Ultimate Fighter, Garbrandt almost came to blows with opposing coach Conor McGregor.
Though tempers were frayed, ‘No Love’ eventually thanked and praised McGregor for pointing out that his former teammate in Dillashaw was a so-called ‘snake in the grass’, who would desert Team Alpha Male (then featuring T.J, Cody and Urijah).
Now somewhat friendlier towards the Irishman but no less determined to fight him someday, Garbrandt believes that a boxing ring may be more likely to host an encounter between the two rather than the Octagon.
“Boxing definitely, that’s what he wants to gravitate towards to, going into boxing with Conor would be great,” he told ESPN.
“I’m working towards that level and he’s setting the bar high, I’m happy that he’s going out there and doing big things. We had a run-in. Nothing ill toward the guy but I believe I’m the better boxer and one of the best boxers in the UFC.”
That level he speaks of refers to McGregor’s sensational attempt to defeat Floyd Mayweather in August.
While he commended the UFC lightweight champion for showing that ‘MMA guys can box’, he has no doubt as to how their own bout would pan out.
“I’ll go in there and knock Conor the fuck out in boxing. Let’s be honest. There’s no difference in a southpaw or orthodox. That guy could come out and fight on his hands for all I give a fuck. I would knock him out, and that’s it.”