With Conor McGregor's return to competition looming, more and more fighters are trying to score their own red panty night. The latest to put their name out there? UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt.
Speaking with ESPN's Five Rounds podcast (h/t MMAFighting.com for the transcription), he discussed how he matches up with McGregor and promised an easy win in the cage, or in the ring.
"I think going in a boxing ring with Conor would be great, or in MMA," he said.
"No ill will towards the guy, but I actually believe I'm a better boxer. I feel like I'm one of the best boxers in the UFC ... I'll go in there and knock Conor the f--k out in a boxing ring, just to be honest ... I would knock him out, that's it. I have the best boxing in the game, in the UFC, and I'm ready to showcase it on another level."
Garbrandt has been one of the most exciting young talents in the UFC over the last two years. Despite being inexperienced relative to the rest of his division, Garbrandt has excelled, to the point where he captured UFC gold just four years into his professional career. Along the way, he has demonstrated remarkable growth in all areas of the cage, with his greatest win coming in December when he easily defeated UFC champ Dominick Cruz to take the title.
Of course, a fight with McGregor is a long shot for most competitors, especially those who have little to offer at the box office. And in Garbrandt's case, he happens to have former friend turned bitter rival TJ Dillashaw on his plate, as well as some unfinished business with UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. He continued:
"I've got TJ ahead of me. He's a great adversary, great opponent to level up, to go to that next level with a great masterclass performance. I think it's the fight to make after I demolish TJ, to go down to 125 pounds and become a two-weight world champion ... that would be strictly business for me to go down there and do that, no ill will towards Demetrious."
Of course, getting through Dillashaw will be easier said than done. They face off at UFC 217 on November 4. If he can pull it off and deliver that "masterclass" he's discussing then maybe talk of a fight with McGregor can be taken seriously. Maybe.