Cody Garbrandt just needed a win and that’s exactly what he delivered with his performance to cap off the UFC 285 prelims on Saturday night.
The former bantamweight king, who was riding a two-fight losing streak with a 1-5 record in his past six fights, knew that getting his hand raised matter far more than trying to break out some flashy moves. So Garbrandt put on a workman like performance round after round to beat Trevin Jones by unanimous decision with all three judges scoring the fight 29-28 in his favor.
Best known for his fast and powerful hands, Garbrandt actually opened the fight with a series of body kicks that continued to find a home on Jones’ midsection. After focusing on the body, Garbrandt started going back up to the head with a nasty right hand that kept buzzing Jones and preventing him from really setting up much offense of his own.
As the second round got underway, Garbrandt turned to his wrestling with a pair of takedowns that slammed Jones on the canvas. Garbrandt was still methodical as he picked his shots while maintaining control to ensure Jones was stuck underneath him.
Garbrandt was just pushing a pace with Jones constantly trying to play catchup without ever really unleashing anything on the feet that might allow him to storm back.
It wasn’t until late in the final round that Jones was finally able to close the distance to begin connecting with his punches as he started chipping away at Garbrandt’s chin. With less than a minute remaining, Jones also managed a takedown but he just couldn’t do much to capitalize on the position as the sand ran out of the hourglass.
While it wasn’t the prettiest performance of his career, Garbrandt clearly didn’t want to take unnecessary risks, especially against an opponent like Jones who has dynamite in his hands. Following a short one-fight stint at 125 pounds, Garbrandt is now back at bantamweight with a victory over Jones as he looks to start building some momentum in a division that once called him champion.