"A Superstar is Born" - Garbrandt vs. Almeida Fight Breakdown

UFC Fight Night 88 is a card that perfectly showcases one of the most important aspects of Mixed-Martial-Arts: unpredictability. If you read my preview article, you know this: my three predictions were absolutely wrong. While it frustrated me at first, I ended up laughing. An upset can happen any day of the week, and that's one of the reasons MMA is the best sport in the world. Anyways, I decided to quickly breakdown the main event of the evening, which came to an explosive end in rather quick fashion. Without further ado, let's talk Almeida vs. Garbrandt.

Going into this main event, I thought Almeida would be able to come out on top. Neither guy would particularly interested in taking things to the ground, so we knew this would be a striking contest. In my head, Garbrandt's boxing skills would get him the advantage in the pocket. However, Almeida's stand up seemed to be a lot more technical. He is very accurate. I believed he would be able to hit Cody with his kicks and unorthodox style to eventually use his superb timing in order to obtain the finish.

That did not happen. Team Alpha Male deserves praises for their strategy. It is well-known that Almeida is a slow starter. He analyzes his opponents for the first couple of minutes before truly getting started. Cody's camp clearly was aware of that. As soon as the fight started, Garbrandt was a man with a very specific mission in mind: knock Almeida's head off. He would put pressure, pushing forward with these very technical (cutting angles/cage, not rushing), unpredictable '3-4 punch' blitzes. Some minutes into the bout, Thomas got rocked. Soon after, Cody landed some iron hooks that put Almeida down. Incredible finish.

Now, where do these guys go from here? Let me say this: both fighters have a bright future. They're young and full of talent. Future champions for sure. This is a huge victory for Cody. Doesn't quite get him the title shot, but following one or two more wins I fully expect him to face the champion. For now, he must face somebody in the top 10. Bryan Caraway? Takeya Mizugaki? Any of them will work. As for Almeida, he's far from finished. The UFC should give him a top 15 opponent. I would quite enjoy an Almeida vs. Dodson fight.

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