Garbrandt will get pep talks from Kobe, Tyson earlier than UFC struggle –

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L.E. Baskow

Current UFC Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrandt speaks on being a coach for the upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter” and his points with different coach T.J. Dillashaw from the Ultimate Fighter Gym on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017.

NEW YORK — Cody Garbrandt obtained a pair of championship pep talks within the week main as much as the largest struggle of his profession: Kobe Bryant and Mike Tyson every stopped by for a motivational pick-me-up and to rub elbows with maybe UFC’s subsequent mbadive factor.

Garbrandt yearns to share greater than championships with the celebs — he desires to be stamped with the identical greatness that outlined them.

The 26-year-old Garbrandt, a tattooed powerful man with outstanding charisma out of Ohio, makes his first protection of his 135-pound title Saturday night time at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden.

His fast ascent up the cardboard — on the energy of an 11-Zero report — has him positioned as a fighter who may make the leap into pay-per-view headliner and gravely wanted famous person.

The MSG card is headlined by two stars pushing 40 in middleweight champ Michael Bisping (38) and UFC veteran Georges St. Pierre (36). UFC mainstream stars Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey haven’t any fights on the horizon. Jon Jones, maybe the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter ever, is once more out indefinitely as he faces his newest doping penalty.

The cage door for a breakthrough star is vast open for 2018.

Garbrandt places the bantamweight belt on the road when he fights T.J Dillashaw (15-Three) in what could possibly be the struggle of the night time on a 3 title-fight card.

“We’re the real main event,” Garbrandt mentioned.

Garbrandt gained the championship at UFC 207 when he battered Dominick Cruz, snapping his 13-bout profitable streak with aptitude. Garbrandt repeatedly knocked down Cruz within the fourth spherical and handed him his first MMA loss since March 24, 2007.

Garbrandt, a local of Uhrichsville, Ohio, was a competitor on the fact sequence “The Ultimate Fighter” for fellow Team Alpha Male teammate Urijah Faber when he famously shoved McGregor they usually needed to be separated. Garbrandt would later coach in opposition to Dillashaw on TUF.

UFC President Dana White has mentioned Garbrandt’s expertise and noteworthy charisma offers him the potential to develop into UFC’s most marketable budding star in 2018.

“It humbles you to have Dana White and the UFC believe in you, finally,” he mentioned. “I feel I am going to be the next superstar. However, that doesn’t put extra hype or pressure on me to fulfill those shoes. I go out there and perform. And look, I have fun fighting.”

Garbrandt vs. Dillashaw could possibly be the struggle of the night time, however this is what else to take a look at at MSG:

HISTORY

Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-Zero) places the 115-pound championship on the road in opposition to Rose Namajunas (6-Three). Jedrzejczyk is ready to tie Rousey’s mark of six title defenses.

With a win Jedrzejczyk would make UFC historical past — and perhaps headline her personal PPV card.

“There’s no if. I will,” Jedrzejczyk mentioned.

GSP RETURNS

St. Pierre ends his four-year sabbatical to struggle Bisping for the middleweight championship in the principle occasion. St. Pierre was one of many UFC’s greatest stars and pay-per-view attracts throughout his lengthy reign atop the 170-pound division, however the Canadian star walked away in November 2013.

“He looks impregnated by aliens,” Bisping mentioned.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

UFC wraps up its first yr of playing cards in New York with its second journey to Madison Square Garden. McGregor headlined a card final November that set an MSG gate report of $17 million.

White mentioned the sold-out 217 present ought to once more rake within the money.

“We’re No. 1 here and this weekend we’re going to be No. 3,” White mentioned. “New York’s been very good to us and we’re going to continue to come. We want to be No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 at MSG.”

UFC additionally ran a present at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and one in Buffalo. UFC appears poised to develop its East Coast footprint in 2018 with a card set for Boston and a attainable return to New Jersey’s Prudential Center on the horizon.

“This will be the biggest year in company history. We’re on track for the biggest year ever,” White mentioned of UFC’s income.

COVER BOY

McGregor, the light-weight champion, was revealed Friday because the EA UFC Three cowl boy. McGregor shared the quilt final yr with Rousey. McGregor is coming off his richest payday but in a boxing match in opposition to Floyd Mayweather Jr., and mentioned he desires a chunk of the corporate earlier than he returns to UFC.

White was badured McGregor would return, presumably for a bout in opposition to interim light-weight champ Tony Ferguson.

“As we go into negotiations with Conor, there’s always all kinds of crazy stuff out there,” White mentioned. “We always get deals done with Conor. Conor has been easy to deal with, and we’ll get it done.”



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