It appears there may be at least one thing that UFC bantamweight champion Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt might, in fact, love: the chance to defend his belt at Madison Square Garden.
Garbrandt is reportedly eyeing a return to the octagon in November, according to MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani, pointing to UFC 217 – Nov. 4 in New York City – as the site of his first bout since taking the bantamweight belt from Dominick Cruz in 2016.
“I want MSG,” Garbrandt told Helwani in no uncertain terms.
Garbrandt remains out with a back injury, still sidelined after being forced off of the UFC 213 card in early July. The 26-year-old was slated to face former training teammate T.J. Dillashaw at 213 in what would have been Garbrandt’s first title defence.
Helwani suggested the UFC brass discussed booking a Garbrandt-Dillashaw bout for UFC 216 in October, but the new champ isn’t confident his back will be fully healed by then.
He is, however, on the mend.
“Feeling a lot better,” Garbrandt told Helwani. “Hardly doing MMA. It’s been all rehab and strength and conditioning. I can’t wait to get back.”
A potential defence in November would set up Garbrandt and Dillashaw’s meeting as UFC 217’s second title fight. The card already reportedly includes the highly anticipated return of former welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, who will face Michael Bisping for the middleweight belt.
That according to Bisping himself, who said on Wednesday that a title defence against GSP at UFC 217 was “official.”