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Cody Garbrandt eyeing Madison Square Garden return

Cody Garbrandt Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Cody Garbrandt is on the comeback trail, and he has his sights set on New York City.

The UFC bantamweight champion, who has been rehabbing an injured back as of late, told that he is hoping to defend his title for the first time at UFC 217 on Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in NYC.

There had been some internal talk of booking Garbrandt vs. TJ Dillashaw at UFC 216 on Oct. 7 in Las Vegas, but “No Love” said he would not be fully healed by then.

“I want MSG,” he wrote via text message.

Garbrandt and Dillashaw, former Team Alpha Male teammates, were supposed to fight at UFC 214 on July 8, however, the same back injury forced Garbrandt out of the fight. UFC president Dana White sent Garbrandt to Germany in May to receive stem cell injection in hopes of expediting his return, but the treatment did not do the trick.

A little over two months later, though, Garbrandt sounds optimistic.

“Feeling a lot better,” he wrote via text message. “Hardly doing MMA. It’s been all rehab and strength and conditioning. I can’t wait to get back.”

The UFC is hoping to book at least five title fights between October and December, the question is, though, who fights where. Here’s what they are looking at during that stretch:

Cody Garbrandt vs. TJ Dillashaw (bantamweight)
Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar (featherweight)
Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov (interim lightweight)
Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre (middleweight)

The promotion will also crown its inaugural women’s flyweight champion in December.

UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic has not been approached about his next title defense and has remained steadfast in his stance of not fighting until his contract issues are sorted.

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