Cody Garbrandt defeated Brian Kelleher via KO (strikes), Round 1 - 3:42 at UFC 296 on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
"He had a good game plan kicking away and trying to limit my movement. Hats off to Brain, he is a true competitor. I'm ready to get back. I'm going to stay busy in 2024. Deiveson Figueiredo we were supposed to fight but COVID cancelled it. You're in my division now," said Garbrandt.
The fight opened with Kelleher landing a couple of leg kicks. The kicks had an impact on Garbrandt but he was not deterred. Garbrandt looked fast and sharp with his boxing skills. The end of the fight came when Garbrandt landed a perfectly place punch that sent Kelleher down to the canvas face first. Immediately, the referee, Marc Goddard, stopped the fight. Allowing Garbrandt to celebrate the walk off knockout.
Garbrandt improved to 14-5 with 11 knockouts. However, since winning the UFC bantamweight championship from Dominick Cruz at UFC 207 nearly seven years ago, Garbrandt has struggled. With his record at UFC 296, Garbrandt is 3-5 in his last eight fights. The former champion stated he wants to stay busy in 2024 as he attempts to climb up the division rankings again.
Several fighters took to Twitter to share their thoughts on Garbrandt's UFC 296 victory.