Cody Garbrandt was once on the top of the bantamweight division, but has lost three straight since he held the title. His fights average just 8:50.
The UFC’s bantamweight division should get a bit of clarity Saturday from Las Vegas when Top-10 contenders Raphael Assuncao and Cody Garbrandt face off in the second-to-last bout of the night. There is currently no bantamweight champion in the UFC because former two-division champ Henry Cejudo decided to retire after beating Dominick Cruz at UFC 249. Although, fighters have shown in the past that they have a tough time staying retired.
Assuncao is ranked No. 5 in the division and Garbrandt No. 9. These two originally were to fight in Columbus, Ohio, in March, but the coronavirus scuttled that. The latest UFC odds have Garbrandt as a -160 favourite with Assuncao at +120. The over-under for rounds is 2.5, with the under a slight -120 favourite.
The 28-year-old Garbrandt (11-3) is from Ohio. “No Love” won the UFC bantamweight title in December 2016 with an upset of Cruz at UFC 207 via unanimous decision. However, Garbrandt is 0-3 since. He lost the belt to TJ Dillashaw via second-round TKO (punches) at UFC 217, dropped the rematch at UFC 227 via first-round knockout (knee and punches), and lost his last visit to the Octagon in March 2019 by first-round TKO (punches) vs. Pedro Munhoz in an upset.
Assuncao vs. Garbrandt UFC 250 Odds
Garbrandt’s fights average just 8:50. He lands 3.53 significant strikes per minutes (absorbs exact same amount) and 0.94 takedowns per 15 minutes with 33 per cent accuracy. His takedown defence is 100 per cent. Nine of Garbrandt’s 11 wins are by KO/TKO and all three losses are. His favoured method of winning Saturday is by KO, TKO or disqualification at +160, followed by decision at +330 and submission +2200.
Assuncao (27-7), 37, is from Brazil. He has yet to receive a UFC title shot in his career and probably won’t get one ever if he loses a third straight bout Saturday. Assuncao was beaten by current No. 1 contender Marlon Moraes by first-round submission (guillotine choke) in February 2019 and then by unanimous decision to current No. 4 Cory Sandhagen in August of last year.
The majority of wins by Assuncao (48 per cent) are by decision, while he has won only four fights by KO/TKO. Four of his seven losses are via decision. The UFC odds board have him at +330 to win by decision in this fight, +395 by KO, TKO or disqualification and +1100 by submission. Assuncao’s fights average 12:41. He lands 3.32 significant strikes per minute (absorbs 2.35) and 1.54 takedowns per 15 minutes with 38 per cent accuracy. His takedown defence is 80 per cent.
UFC 250 Predictions: Assuncao vs. Garbrandt
Garbrandt’s future looked so bright years ago when he shocked the MMA world by knocking off Cruz. Now he has his back against the wall – fighters on four-fight losing streaks don’t usually stick around in the UFC. This might be his last big shot. Take Garbrandt by decision.