Ohio native Cody Garbrandt is set to defend his UFC bantamweight title for the first time, and it appears as though the title defense will take place during one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year. Garbrandt is expected to take on rival T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 217, which takes place on Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
UFC 217 Madison Square Garden vs pic.twitter.com/i5PbTqTB93
— Cody Garbrandt ()
The event is expected to be headlined by the return of former welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, who will challenge Michael Bisping for the UFC middleweight title.
Garbrandt (11-0, 6-0 UFC) won the title with a dominant performance over former champion Dominick Cruz at UFC 207 in December. As a UFC champion, the 25-year-old Ohio native is now the face of the Urijah Faber-led Team Alpha Male in California, and will take on his former teammate in this bout.
Dillashaw (14-3, 10-3) is the former UFC bantamweight champion, which he won after defeating Renan Barao in 2014. He successfully defended the title twice against Joe Soto and Barao, before losing it to Cruz last year. Dillashaw also left Team Alpha Male last year to train in Colorado at with the Elevation Fight Team, as well as with former Alpha Male striking coach Duane Ludwig.
Garbrandt and Dillashaw were originally slated to face off at UFC 213 in Las Vegas last month, but the bout was delayed as Cody dealt with a back injury. The two fighters served as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 25, where much of the drama of the season surrounded the extreme dislike between them.
Yet another former UFC champion is also expected to be part of the event, as former welterweight title holder Johny Hendricks is expected to face Paulo Barrochinha in a middleweight bout.