Former bantamweight champion Cody “No Love” Garbrandt returns to the UFC octagon after roughly a year. Originally set to face Julio Arce at UFC 285, he will now step in to face Arce’s replacement, Trevin “5 Star” Jones.
Both men have their backs against the wall, as Garbrandt has seen a string of losses since losing the belt in 2017 with just one win in between. That being said, he has consistently fought the UFC’s best. On paper Jones is at least a step down in competition, but with a chip on his shoulder, don’t count him out. Jones made his way into the UFC as a 12-6 fighter earning a massive profile win over Timur Valiev in his debut. Although it was later overturned due to a positive marijuana test, the potential was clear for Jones. He has since lost three of his last four, twice in decisions that Jones believes unjustified.
UFC 285 may be his last shot to live up to the expectations fans have held since his debut, but to do so he has to get back to one of the most impressive champions on a hunt to get back to the top.
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The former champion will come in as the favorite over Jones. Bets will cost $175 for each $100 potentially won on Garbrandt.
- Garbrandt: -175
- Jones: +136
At one point in time, Cody Garbrandt could have been considered the UFC’s best boxer. With excellent reactions and timing, Garbrandt was able to slip and weave his way to outstriking almost anyone in the division. This coupled with great scrambling and wrestling abilities courtesy of Team Alpha Male made him a difficult matchup for anyone.
Early on in his career, his aggression and power saw him steam through most competition quickly enough to avoid any real punishment, however post getting to the championship level, likely damage has caused some loss in confidence in his chin and left him a bit too trigger-shy at the highest level.
Garbrandt has very fluid movement and stays light on his feet. He has a quick jab and a big right hook that he often throws while dipping to the left. He loads up on the follow-up left hook from far down, opening him up to a shot on that same side. Yet, if he gets away with it, it allows him to whip across with massive power. With Jones standing southpaw, however, he will be in less danger of his power side in this regard, and the left hook over the lead hand will be an even cleaner tactic.
Garbrandt has a nice pendulum step to low calf kick on his left on southpaw opponents, look for him to manage range with it against Jones. He also blitzes with a nice cross-hook combination as he crosses steps through, but coming in on a straight line is especially dangerous as Jones is a fadeaway counter striker.
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Trevin Jones’ favorite technique is his step-back right hook. He has expressed frustration with judging, claiming that judges “do not understand the counter game”, which has motivated him to be more aggressive. The ability to move forward and maintain a pace will be a big test for both men, as they have both been forced on the back foot in recent fights, but Jones should look to press Garbrandt and give ground when he lashes out as his counter striking is his most effective mode of landing.
Garbrandt should have the wrestling advantage, he has good timing on double-leg shots off of his own head movement and Jones has been flattened out before. Grabrandt is a scrambler, not a known submission artist, so, while he can disrupt the momentum of the fight with takedowns, Jones probably does have the grappling ability to find his way back up without too much worry of danger, but it’s a potential scoring tactic for the former champion.
Prediction and Betting Guide
Both men need a win, but more eyes and more pressure are likely on Garbrandt. His fall from grace has been one that sticks out in the history of the UFC, and Jones replacing Arce may be exactly what he needed. Both men are not coming into the fight with much momentum, and both will probably look to the box. Jones can have some confidence in testing Garbrandts chin, but the man deemed “No Love” is probably still the more diverse, fast, and technical of the two of them. Although grappling won’t likely be a huge factor, it is another avenue that Garbrandt could take if he chooses.
Pick: Cody Garbrandt to win (-175)