- The bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling continues to face delays.
- Cody Garbrandt is now choosing to remain in the bantamweight division.
- MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz now wants to see Garbrandt vs. Aldo take place in early 2021.
The UFC’s bantamweight division might be the best in MMA right now. Petr Yan has the potential to become the next dominant champion in the weight class. There are a huge number of hungry challengers waiting in the wings, though. It now seems that Garbrandt vs. Aldo could end up deciding the next challenger to the title.
Cody Garbrandt was expected to make the move into the flyweight division. That no longer seems to be the case. Today, we’ll talk about how the former champ might fare against one of MMA’s most legendary competitors.
Let’s get into it!
Petr Yan’s First Title Defense Continues to Face Delays
Russia is home to some of the greatest mixed martial artists to ever live. That includes Fedor Emelianenko, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Alexander Shlemenko. Many now believe that Petr Yan is on the path to becoming one of the top Russian fighters alive.
Yan has been a talented fighter in the UFC for years. He entered the promotion back in June of 2018 with a knockout win over Teruto Ishihara. He’s now 7-0 in the UFC, most recently winning the bantamweight title with a 5th-round TKO over Jose Aldo.
Unfortunately, Yan hasn’t fought since that title-winning performance. He was expected to take on Aljamain Sterling at UFC 256 on December 12 but was forced from the bout due to visa issues. The UFC has not publicly revealed when his first title defense will take place.
Hope is that it takes place sometime in January. The UFC is set to return to Fight Island with several incredible fight cards. That includes the welterweight main event between Khamzat Chimaev and Leon Edwards. Yan vs. Sterling would be the perfect fight to take place on one of these events.
There’s no doubt that Aljamain Sterling is the most-deserving fighter to compete for the bantamweight title. There are several men that are just one win away from a title fight, too. Some feel that includes Cody Garbrandt and Jose Aldo, two former champions with exciting striking styles.
It now appears these men could soon fight. What does that mean for the UFC’s bantamweight title picture?
We Might See Garbrandt vs. Aldo Taking Place This February
Cody Garbrandt became the UFC bantamweight champion back in December of 2016. With elite boxing and a solid ground game, some felt he would become the next big thing in the sport. MMA is unpredictable, however, and “No Love” went on to lose his next three fights after winning the title.
Garbrandt finally earned a victory this past June with a highlight-reel knockout over Raphael Assuncao. That victory seems to have resonated with UFC officials. Many now believe he needs just one more win to receive another bantamweight title fight.
Ali Abdelaziz, the manager of Garbrandt, believes a fight with Jose Aldo makes perfect sense right now. This could earn him the fight against Petr Yan, he argues.
“I’m interested in Cody Garbrandt vs. Jose Aldo at 135 pounds,” Abdelaziz said to MMA Junkie. “If the flyweight champ is available, 100 percent Cody is the No. 1 contender. That’s what Dana White says. If he’s not available, everybody is booked or coming from losses. I think Cody needs a fight to get him up, and I think Jose Aldo is a fight to get him up. I think that’s a five-round fight, main event. Why not?”
This could serve as a fantastic main event when the UFC decides to return to the Apex Center in Las Vegas this February. It could also end up being the co-main event before the expected title fight with Yan and Sterling. There are plenty of options on the table, all of which are extremely exciting with fans.
For now, it seems that Cody’s move to the flyweight division is on hold. Fans are now gearing up for a rematch between the 125-pound champ and his rival, Brandon Moreno.
Odds on Figueiredo vs. Moreno 2 Are Now Available Online!
Historically speaking, the UFC’s flyweight division has been one that fans don’t seem to care much about. During Demetrious Johnson’s reign as the champion, this weight class failed to generate any major fan interest. That has begun to change in recent months, though.
Deiveson Figueiredo won the vacant flyweight title this past July. It was a devastating victory over Joseph Benavidez and one that fans were not used to seeing in the division. It seemed that we had a new exciting champion to keep an eye on in the sport.
Earlier this month, Figueiredo competed in his second title defense against Brandon Moreno. Nearly all UFC betting sites listed the champion as the massive betting favorite in this one. Incredibly, Moreno gave everything he had and the fight ended up being declared a draw. A rematch was quickly announced.
BetOnline, one of the world’s best internet sportsbooks, is now offering odds on this bout! For now, Figueiredo is listed as the -235 favorite. Moreno once again comes in as the underdog with current odds to win of +200.
Anything is possible in MMA. Perhaps the winner of Garbrandt vs. Aldo could end up making the move down to flyweight to challenge the winner of Figueiredo vs. Moreno! We’ll be sure to offer more updates on this situation over the next few months.
Do you want to see Cody Garbrandt taking on Jose Aldo? Who do you think wins? Let us know in the comments section below.