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Cody Garbrandt gets UFC title shot as mentor Urijah Faber announces retirement

Garbrandt will face Dominick Cruz for the 135lb title at UFC 207.

Cody Garbrandt celebrates victory in his UFC debut.
Cody Garbrandt celebrates victory in his UFC debut.
Image: John Locher/AP/Press Association Images

WHAT MARKS THE end of one era this December, could see the beginning of another for Team Alpha Male.

That’s because an already stacked UFC 207 in Vegas – headlined by the women’s bantamweight title bout between Amanda Nunes and the returning Ronda Rousey — will also see the men’s 135lb title up for grabs as Dominick Cruz (22-1) defends his belt against the unbeaten Cody Garbrandt (10-0).

Garbrandt only made his UFC debut in January 2015 but with five straight wins — including three first round stoppages against Takeya Mizugaki, Thomas Almeida and Augusto Mendes – he has earned the chance to win a title within two years of joining the organisation.

MMA UFC 203 Urijah Faber is hanging up his gloves after a 14 year career. Source: David Dermer/AP/Press Association Images

In Vegas, he’ll look to do what his Team Alpha Male mentor Urijah Faber failed to do on two occasions and take the bantamweight title away from Cruz in a fight that will come just two weeks after Faber (33-10) steps into the octagon for the last time.

The former WEC featherweight champion will bring his 14-year MMA career to a close on 17 December when he takes on Brad Pickett (26-12) at UFC on Fox 22 in his hometown of Sacramento California.

The California Kid announced the news on The MMA Hour on Monday:

“I’ve been kind of waiting for this, and this is actually going to be my last fight and it just feels right to do it in Sacramento. It just feels like the right time and the right place. I’ve been waiting for this new arena to be built, I was waiting for that Dominick Cruz opportunity, and I feel like this is going to be an epic event and I can’t wait to do it in front of the people I love.”

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Steve O'Rourke

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