A confident Cody Garbrandt has set his sights on a first-round knockout of Brazilian Thomas Almeida, ahead of Sunday’s key Ultimate Fighting Championship clash at Mandalay Bay Events Centre in Las Vegas, Nevada.
While Garbrandt’s mixed martial arts and UFC experience is substantially less than that of Almeida, the American won’t be intimidated come UFC 88’s key bantamweight bout.
“Maybe I’m the underdog, he’s 21-0 but who has he fought? Maybe I haven’t fought anybody but I wouldn’t pad my record all the way up to 21-0,” he told FoxSports.com.
“That’s what the critics are looking at – he’s 21-0 and he’s only 24 years old – but you can’t forget that I’m a better martial artist than this guy. I have more fights than him, I have more wrestling matches and that’s the toughest sport. I’m better at jiu-jitsu and I’m a better striker, which is what he’s good at.
The 24-year-old reiterated his ambition to clinch the bantamweight title, previously held by Team Alpha Male team-mate TJ Dillashaw – and pursued by compatriot Urijah Faber.
“That’s what I wake up everyday chasing. I wake up every day and visualise being the world champion. If you’re not here to be the world champion, to be the best fighter, then you need to pack your things up and go to a different promotion or go get a 9 to 5 or start a family or something else,” he added.
“It’s my will to be the champion. It’s in my mind to be the champion. I will be the champion. I’ve believed that since the first time I watched fighting and said I wanted to be a fighter.”