Former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt is ready to make his long-awaited UFC return. MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin reports that Garbrandt is expected to fight Raphael Assuncao on June 6. The fight was booked for UFC on ESPN 8 on March 28. Garbrandt pulled out of the fight due to kidney issues before the event got canceled.
Garbrandt has had a rough time in the UFC in recent times. He is currently on a three-fight losing streak and has been dealing with injuries. Garbrandt suffered a TKO loss to Pedro Munhoz at UFC 235 on March 2, 2019. The loss also resulted in Garbrandt injuring his hand. When Garbrandt got healed, he suffered an undisclosed injury and had surgery keeping him from fighting the rest of 2019.
Coming into the UFC with a 5-0 record, Garbrandt quickly became a title contender. Almost two years after his debut and six fights later, he became the bantamweight champion. Now Garbrandt is ranked ninth in the division and is far removed from being a title contender. In a must-win situation, Garbrandt’s fight against Assuncao will be one of his most crucial fight to date.
Assuncao is looking to get back on the win column. His last loss was against Cory Sandhagen by decision at UFC 241 on August 17, 2019. Assuncao has always been in the mix as a contender for the bantamweight championship. Ranked fifth in the division, Assuncao is two or three fights away from possibly being a number one contender or in the conversation. A win over Garbrandt can help Assuncao get a fight against another big name in the division.
The fight has yet to be made official by the UFC. No information has been released on where the fight card on June 6 will take place.