UFC 227: Cody Garbrandt and the Most Undeserved Title Shots

UFC 217 UFC 227 Cody Garbrandt TJ Dillashaw
Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Cody Garbrandt is getting an immediate title shot at UFC 227 after zero defenses and a knockout loss to TJ Dillashaw. While controversial, it’s not even close to the worst title shot.

When the UFC 227 main event was announced as a rematch between TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt it was very controversial, to say the least. While it was a close and amazing bout between Dillashaw and Garbrandt the first time around, there was a definitive victory for one side and the champion Cody Garbrandt had yet to defend his title.

While many are bashing the UFC’s decision to give Cody Garbrandt an immediate title rematch, it’s not even close to the worst title shot of all time. Who’s worse? Let’s take a look.

Chael Sonnen: UFC 159 vs. Jon Jones

This title shot is very bad, but there are many things to consider. But first, let’s just state the obvious, Chael Sonnen was coming off a loss to Anderson Silva at the weight class below, so what’s the thing to do? Match him up with another one of the greatest fighters of all time in Jon Jones! The result was very predictable, and the fight went the same way. Jon Jones dominated Sonnen from the opening bell and closed the fight out in the first round. The most damage done to Jones was himself, as he broke his own toe taking Sonnen down.

Why is this title shot not the worst? Sonnen originally was going to step in at UFC 151 after Dan Henderson fell out, although Jones would later turn him down. Seeing that Sonnen was willing to step in so soon, it seemed the UFC wanted to repay him and so they gave him the shot at Jones later at UFC 159. Plus at that point, Jones had beaten everyone in his division so there were no real challengers for him, leaving Sonnen as a timely solution.

Alexander Gustafsson: UFC 192 vs. Daniel Cormier

When Alexander Gustafsson fought Anthony Johnson in January 2015 in Sweden, it was seen as a title eliminator fight. Nonetheless, Johnson would knock Gustafsson out in his home country in just about three minutes. It appeared that Gustafsson would have to climb his way back to the top in order to get a title shot after having his doors blown off by Johnson. However, we’re in the UFC, where everything is made up and the belts don’t matter.

Gustafsson was then given a headlining role against UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 192. It did turn out that this fight was amazing and very close, ultimately with Daniel winning, but the idea to even give Alexander the fight is a baffling decision to this day. Especially since he was coming off such a brutal loss and the fact that a proper challenger was waiting in the wings in Ryan Bader, who had won four fights in a row at that point.

John Lober: UFC Brazil vs. Frank Shamrock

Imagine not winning in your last seven fights and somehow getting a title shot at middleweight champion Frank Shamrock. That’s exactly what happened to the one and only John Lober at UFC Brazil. Lober was 0-6-1 in his last seven bouts and his only real claim to the fight was that he defeated Shamrock years earlier and so he was given a title shot against Shamrock.

The fight went exactly how you might think. Shamrock dominated Lober and defeated him by TKO in the first round. The most interesting thing about this fight was that it was Shamrock’s last bout in the Octagon before he defended his belt against Tito Ortiz in one of the best fights of all time.

So that’s something.