The Weight Cutting Chronicles: UFC 269’s Cody Garbrandt Moves Down

Cody Garbrandt UFC
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 21: Cody Garbrandt poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on May 21, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Like it or not, weight-cutting is deeply rooted in mixed martial arts. MMA adopted its weight-cutting from the sport of wrestling, where it is presumed to be very advantageous to be the biggest and strongest in your weight class. Known as the ‘fight before the fight,’ most UFC fighters cut anywhere from 5-25 pounds, with some fighters even in excess of 30 pounds.

Weight-cutting is the ultimate test of discipline and willpower. Many fighters in the sport consider it very unprofessional to miss weight.

In this series, we will shine a light on select fighters who cut a massive amount of weight, who have missed weight multiple times in the past, who have made weight-class changes, along with how the weight-cut and weigh-in could affect possible upcoming match-ups. Basically, every aspect of weight-cutting and how it affects the fight game.

Cody “No Love” Garbrandt (12-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC)

Flyweight (125lbs.): 0-0 (UFC), Making Career Debut

Bantamweight (135lbs.): 6-4 (UFC), Former UFC Bantamweight Champion

Catchweight (142lbs.): 1-0 (UFC)

UFC 269’s Cody Garbrandt joined the UFC at the beginning of 2015. Garbrandt quickly went on a five fight win streak including four finishes.

For this win streak, Cody fought exclusively at 135lbs save for a single fight against Augusto Mendes in 2016 where he fought at a catchweight of 142lbs.

Garbrandt captured the UFC Bantamweight Championship in December of 2016 when he beat Dominick Cruz in a masterful five round decision. But, unfortunately for Cody, this is where he would begin to struggle in the UFC and go on a losing skid that would eventually push him to move down to the flyweight division.

Garbrandt lost his belt to T.J. Dillashaw in November of 2017 and lost a rematch to the former Team Alpha Male member the following year. Cody lost to Pedro Munhoz before his lone win in the last five years against Raphael Assuncao.

In his most recent fight, Garbrandt lost a unanimous decision to Rob Font.

Garbrandt has won just one fight out of his last five and has been finished in three of said fights. 

Because of this, Cody took inspiration from former champions like Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo and figured it would be an excellent time to drop down in weight.

Garbrandt (5’8″, 65.5″) is 30 years old and has always had one of the shorter reaches for the UFC’s bantamweight division as well as being slightly undersized.

Cody didn’t really struggle to make it to 135lbs and for many fights did not utilize his entire grace pound.

And because Cody had been slotted to face Deiveson Figueiredo last November (but couldn’t because he caught COVID) he has been fine tuning this weight cut for a while.

Garbrandt has been gradually slimming down in weight for the last seven months with the guidance of Dr. Matteo Capodaglio, who has also worked with UFC Middleweight standout, and former title challenger Marvin Vettori.

Cody has been in a few five round fights including his most recent fight, so I wouldn’t expect his cardio to be an issue, even at flyweight (and even having had a bad case of COVID). However, what would be of great concern would be Garbrandt’s ability to take a shot at flyweight. Considering the fact that Cody has been finished three times in his last five fights and coupled with the fact that many times he has a ‘swangin and bangin’ style of fighting that can leave him exposed.

Garbrandt will definitely have a power advantage down at 125lbs and his hands could be even faster.

Cody told media members including Gabriel Gonzalez of Cageside Press at the UFC 269 media day that:

“I feel like this is probably my more natural weight. I feel like a lot of the bantamweights are much larger, and I feel like not in skill set, speed, power, I still have that at the division obviously. — I feel like this has been a necessary cut or a necessary transition to the flyweight division for quite some time. This needed to be done.”

Fans should definitely keep an eye on Cody while he weighs in but undoubtedly should make sure that they tune into his debut at flyweight against Kai Kara-France in the people’s main event for UFC 269.