Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Cody Garbrandt turned up the heat in a wild slugfest, only to have his decision backfire.
The former UFC bantamweight champion went for broke late in the first round of what was already an exciting fight against Pedro Munhoz in the main-card opener of UFC 235 Saturday night. But Munhoz got the better of the firefight, and a competitor who has been low-key good in a crowded 135-pound field got the biggest victory of his career.
The time of the finish at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas was 4:52 of the opening round as Munhoz won via TKO.
“That was it, that was the game plan,” Munhoz said. “Everyone thinks I am a grappler, that ’s where I came from, but I have been training for years with some of the best boxers in the world.”
Munhoz’s leg kicks dictated the tempo in the early going, as Garbrandt visibly winced from the shots and switched stances. Things picked up after Munhoz’s dropped Garbrandt with what may have been a headbutt. But Garbrandt popped to his feet, landed a gigantic knee, and started winging huge punches.
Munhoz, for his part was only happy to obliged, as he upped the ante and started answering. A huge counter right to the jaw put a stop to things, as Munhoz (18-3, 1 NC) won for the third straight time and seventh in his past eight bouts.
“I knew I could take more, take one to give another one back, and I knew when I came back I could knock him out,” Munhoz said.
For Garbrandt, it was a familiar refrain, as the former titleholder used a similar game plan in consecutive bouts against T.J. Dillashaw and was knocked out in both. He’s now 11-3 after his third straight defeat.