UFC Columbus Targeted for Cody Garbrandt’s Return Against Raphael Assuncao

Cody Garbrandt UFC
Cody Garbrandt Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

Ex-champ Cody Garbrandt appears set to return to action against Raphael Assuncao at UFC Columbus.

Former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt has a return date lined up. ESPN was first to report that Garbrandt has been paired up with Raphael Assuncao for a proposed clash at UFC Columbus. The card, only recently announced, will take place in March 2020.

Garbrandt (11-3) has been on the shelf since a knockout loss at the hands of Pedro Munhoz at UFC 235 in March. That will make it over a year between fights for ‘No Love.’ After he captured the 135lb title in a dominant performance against Dominick Cruz at UFC 207 in 2016, the Team Alpha Male fighter went on an immediate skid, losing twice to T.J. Dillashaw prior to the Munhoz loss.

Of course, Dillashaw’s eventual USADA scandal took some of the bite off those losses. But Garbrandt still needs to get back in the win column to maintain his relevance in the bantamweight division.

Raphael Assuncao is just the fighter to do that against. Assuncao (27-7) is a longtime veteran who has fought some of the biggest names at featherweight and bantamweight, dating back to WEC. Among them, Urijah Faber, T.J. Dillashaw, Pedro Munhoz, Bryan Caraway, and Aljamain Sterling.

Assuncao, however, is coming off a two-fight losing streak, to Marlon Moraes (a fighter he had previously defeated), and Cory Sandhagen.

UFC Columbus takes place March 28, 2020 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Broadcast plans have yet to be revealed for the event. The card will be headlined by Francis Ngannou taking on Jairzinho Rozenstruik.