When original foe John Lineker withdrew from their UFC Fight Night Pittsburgh bout after contracting dengue fever, Cody Garbrandt made the best of a challenging situation.
While Augusto Mendes agreed to take the fight on less than one weeks’ notice, the bout was changed to a catch-weight shortly before the fighters hit the scales on Saturday.
“[I found out] two hours before weigh-ins,” Garbrandt said. “I was on weight, so I had to gain weight. I was trying to get as high as I could. It didn’t matter to me. The main thing I learned this week was a mental test... I grew with this fight mentally and I feel thankful for that.”
Garbrandt’s performance in the cage wasn’t bad either. The Team Alpha Male representative avoided any grappling exchanges with the Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace as he controlled the distance with leg kicks and quick punching combinations. Eventually, “No Love” floored Mendes with an overhand right and forced a stoppage at the 4:18 mark of round one with a follow-up hammerfist for his third Octagon triumph.
“The atmosphere was great and I fed off the fans. It was a crazy, hectic week but I knew my fans were expecting me to perform and that’s exactly what I did,” said Garbrandt. “I was physically and mentally preparing to fight on Feb. 21 in my hometown and nothing was going to keep me from doing that. I didn’t care what weight I had to fight at. I want that John Lineker fight. I’m a fisherman and he’s a fish. It’s time to get on my line.”
Following a discussion with UFC brass backstage, it appears that Garbrandt will get his wish.
“We just talked with [UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby] and [UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta]. Lineker is my next bout as soon as he’s healthy and gets cleared with another blood test,” he said. “Whenever it’s gonna be put together, I’m ready for it.”