Cody Garbrandt stole most of the headlines on Sunday by destroying Thomas Almeida, but if the rising bantamweight leapfrogs ahead of Bryan Caraway in the rankings, well, the latter’s not going to be too pleased…
Garbrandt faced Almeida in a “an O must go” headliner at UFC FN 88, and he buzzed the MMA world, by taking out the latter in the opening round. The prelims featured another pivotal, bantamweight clash, however, as Caraway took on fellow contender Aljamain Sterling. Caraway grinded his way to a split decision win.
So, when you consider Sterling was ranked #4 heading into this weekend’s action, and Caraway was #8, the latter should now be in the title shot mix. Thus, this is why, Caraway had this to say at the post-fight press conference (quote via MMA Junkie.com):
“Garbrandt wasn’t even ranked before – I’m not saying he isn’t an amazing, amazing fighter,” said Caraway. “But he wasn’t ranked, so for him to leapfrog above me would be ludicrous.
“I think I’m the highest ranked guy now that hasn’t fought for the belt.”
Even if you’re a big time Garbrandt fan, it’s hard to argue with Caraway here. The Team Alpha Male fighter wasn’t ranked in the top 15, prior to Saturday, and Almeida was #7. So, when you consider Caraway just defeated the #4 ranked 135’er, and moved his UFC record to 6-2, it would be kind of surprising if “No Love” moves ahead of him. Now does this mean this won’t happen? No. No it doesn’t.
Although Caraway is likely hoping to face another top five ranked bantamweight next, a bout with Garbrandt would be interesting no?
As far as other top contenders go, TJ Dillashaw is booked to fight Raphael Assuncao on July 9th, and Urijah Faber will face the champ Dominick Cruz next Saturday at UFC 199. The #2 ranked Renan Barao fought featherweight Jeremy Stephens on Sunday, and lost via UD.