Thomas Almeida Against Cody Garbrandt May 2016
In a fight which the Brazilian Thomas Almeida was expected to win. Rising star Cody Garbrandt set out to rock the boat in the UFC’s 135 lb’s division. And claim his own stake to a piece of the bantamweight pie along the way. Coming into a fight where he faced an undefeated hot prospect in Almeida. All the focus was very much on the Brazilian to get the win and quickly move on the challenge for the title.
But standing in his way was an ultra-confident No Love who very much felt he was being overlooked. And with that was determined to show the world that he too was in the running for a UFC championship. However, he was up against it in a fighter who had never yet tasted defeat with twenty-one straight wins inside the cage. Garbrandt would have to pull off the performance of his life to walk away with the victory.
With their stats being almost identical, it was the reach of Almeida who brought with him a 4 5″ advantage which set the pair apart. A Muay Thai practitioner squaring off against a boxer with a wrestling base who loves to strike. From the get-go, this looked like a fight which would almost certainly stay on the feet.
Almeida vs Garbrandt Round One
With no touch of the gloves, both men came out hot. But with Almeida not being known as a fast starter, it was Cody who immediately began taking it to the Brazilian. Going for a sweeping high kick, Garbrant controlled the centre of the octagon, while Almeida circled off taking stock of his opponent.
Following up, Cody went for a flying knee that missed but landed an overhand right on the break. And he continued to land some nice hard shots that had back Almeida up, while still very much trying to figure out his opponent. But Garbrandt was in no mood to hang around and landed a lovely combination that staggered Almeida backwards.
With a distinctive hand speed advantage, it looked like he was getting the better of the exchanges. But Thomas was not done and tried to reverse the trend and push Garbrandt back on his heels. And managing to do so Almeida get off some shots which got his opponent thinking. While Cody fired back with some of his own, landing some, but missing wildly with others.
But with just over two minutes to go, Cody threw a combination, ending it with a right hand that sent Thomas Almeida crashing to the canvas. Then following up with some hammer fists, referee John McCarthy jumped in to save him from any further punishment. As Cody Garbrandt proved his doubters wrong. And in the process set himself on a path to the UFC title.