Thomas Almeida has established himself as one of the UFC’s rising prospects, but it doesn’t sound like Cody Garbrandt’s convinced all the hype is warranted.
The 24 year-old bantamweights will throw down in the main event of UFC Fight Night 88 this Sunday, which will go down in Las Vegas. The bout comes at a time when Garbrandt has gone 3-0 in the UFC to move his record to 8-0. Almeida, however, has won 4 UFC bouts to date and is carrying a 20-0 record.
Well, recently Almeida reportedly predicted that he’d take Garbrandt out in the second round. The latter appeared on “The MMA Hour” this week, and while discussing Almeida’s prediction, Garbrandt said this (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“If I’m 21-0, however many cab drivers he beat for that record, I would be very confident definitely that I would beat an 8-0 guy in the first round,” Garbrandt said, after saying Almeida’s record is “padded”. “Anybody that I fought in the first round, so for him to say he’d knock me out in the second, feels like he has a little bit of doubt in himself you know? I want to make sure that bout won’t go beyond the first round.”
Cab drivers huh? Garbrandt did go on to credit Almeida for his toughness, but at the same time, noted that the Brazilian has taken some heavy shots in some of his recent bouts.
That’s what makes this fight Sunday so compelling: it features two of the top bantamweight prospects in the game, and neither has lost yet. The fact both guys can crack doesn’t hurt either.
If Almeida wins, he’ll jump into the title shot mix. If Garbrandt takes the bout, he could crack the top ten.