UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt was crowned as 2016 MMAjunkie’s Fighter of the Year, beating Conor McGregor who fell in second place.
At UFC 207, Cody Garbrandt became the new king of the bantamweight division after beating Dominick Cruz via unanimous decision. The undefeated Garbrandt completely dominated Cruz in the fourth round after dropping him three times. Most people think that their UFC 207 bout was one of the most stunning championship performances in MMA history.
2016 MMAJUNKIE’S FIGHTER OF THE YEAR – CODY GARBRANDT
Recently, MMAjunkie released a poll to give MMA fans the opportunity to pick their 2016 Fighter of the Year. UFC champions Conor McGregor, Stipe Miocic, Michael Bisping, Cody Garbrandt, and Amanda Nunes were included on the list. Since the people will be the one selecting the winner, McGregor clearly has the advantage because of his popularity.
Ronda Rousey could have challenged him if she won against Nunes at UFC 207. However, to everyone’s surprise, the new bantamweight champion was named as the 2016 MMAjunkie’s Fighter of the Year. Garbrandt garnered 29 percent votes, while McGregor had 25 percent votes.
Garbrandt entered 2016 as an unranked fighter in the UFC bantamweight division. However, he won his first three fights in 2016 with first-round knockouts. After beating Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 202, Garbrandt was given the chance to fight for the title.
“No Love” succeeded to win the belt at UFC 207. After the fight, Garbrandt said that he’s willing to give Cruz an immediate rematch. However, recently, he challenged Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor, eyeing to convince the UFC to give him the biggest money fight.
“I need to sit down with Dana [White] and Sean [Shelby], and find out the biggest money fight for me,” Garbrandt said. “I know I could go up and fight with Jose Aldo. He has wins over my teammates, he’s a legend, and I’d like to test his chin. I know I hit hard, and I’m just getting started. And I could also have the biggest fight with Conor [McGregor].
With his statement, it seems like Garbrandt intends to make a noise in 2017. However, as of now, there is no official confirmation if the UFC will let him move to other divisions or force him to defend the title.
Photo courtesy: @cody_nolove/Instagram
Video courtesy: Youtube/Sports FIGHT