Bantamweight Showdown: Deiveson Figueiredo vs Cody Garbrandt

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With the historic UFC 300 around the corner, there is no lack of intriguing matchups on the card. From the very first fight to the last, the UFC has stacked this card with former champions, contenders, and ranked fighters.

A testament to the calibre of the card, the very first prelim matchup is a bantamweight showdown between Deiveson Figueiredo and Cody Garbrandt. This fight was broken down in detail on this week’s MMASucka podcast:

Moving up to Bantamweight

Worth noting in this matchup is this is Figueiredo’s second fight at bantamweight in the UFC. In his bantamweight debut, he faced off against striking specialist, Rob Font in a fight where he was able to hurt Font multiple times and secure the victory using his grappling.

The big questions leading up to that fight were whether Figueiredo could translate his power to the bantamweight division and whether he could handle the physicality of the bigger bantamweights, both of which were answered in the affirmative.

Now Figueiredo has his toughest test to date, as he takes on former bantamweight Champion, Cody Garbrandt.

Cody Garbrandt and his Ability to Take a Punch

Another important thing to consider in this matchup is Garbrandt’s recent chin concerns. While he is just as talented as the day he became champion, the American has been knocked out four times since then, suffering knockout two losses to TJ Dillashaw, Pedro Muhnoz, and Kai Kara France.

While those losses come to high-level opposition, No love seems not to take damage as well anymore, which is concerning considering the power of Figueiredo.

The Breakdown

In this fight, it comes down to whether Figueiredo can mix in his grappling and use his power to either hurt or finish Garbrandt. For Garbrandt, it comes down to whether he can use his extremely fast hands to catch Figueiredo and whether his chin can handle the power coming his way.

Figueiredo is a fantastic grappler, with strong offensive wrestling and very high level BJJ. While Garbrandt has thus far displayed high level takedown defense, he hasn’t had many fights where his opponent took a grappling heavy approach against him. If Figueiredo does attempt to mix in the grappling, as long as he sets it up with his hands first he should be able to land the takedowns and use his BJJ to either secure dominant positions or find a submission. Garbrandt is a high caliber wrestler in his own right, but it seems ill advised for him to attempt takedowns against someone with the BJJ of Figueiredo, who could possibly lock in a front choke or scramble to a dominant position. 

On the feet, Garbrandt is much faster and is extremely dangerous in the pocket. Figueiredo tends to throw low volume and has been a bit slower at Bantamweight, so Garbrandt may be able to take advantage and outland Figueiredo in volume. However, Garbrandt’s style leads to him engaging in brawls up close, and that is where he will be most at risk as Figueredo is a talented striker in his own right, and has the power necessary to end the fight at any time. For Garbrandt to have the most success, he has to lead the exchanges, use his speed to land in the pocket, and then use his footwork to make sure he is clear from any power shots coming back his way.

The most likely outcome here seems to be Figueiredo being able to find the finish. While Garbrandt is much faster and is a top tier wrestler and striker, Figueiredo should be able to match him on the feet and on the ground. His striking is as good as Garbrandt’s, and he has the power to take advantage of the questionable chin of Garbrandt. If he doesn’t get the finish on the feet, he has the BJJ to be able to find the submission, especially if he is able to hurt Garbrandt on the feet first. 

Official Pick: Deiveson Figueiredo by Finish.

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Michael Kachan is a life long MMA fan and has been analyzing and breaking down fights for over four years. He is the host of the Couch Warrior Podcast where he provides weekly MMA breakdowns as well as fighter interviews and more.

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