Mario Bautista unsure if he’s willing “to take the risk” of accepting a fight against Cody Garbrandt again after UFC 292

By Cole Shelton - August 24, 2023

Mario Bautista had called out Cody Garbrandt for quite some time and finally got his wish.

Mario Bautista

Bautista was booked to fight Garbrandt at UFC 292 in Boston, but a week out, it was revealed the former bantamweight champion was forced to withdraw from the bout due to an injury. Although he knew he would remain on the card, Mario was happy to learn that a fellow UFC fighter in Da’Mon Blackshear took the scrap.

“I assumed it was going to be someone outside the UFC. But, when it came to like Monday or Tuesday, Da’Mon was the only one willing to take the fight,” Bautista said to “I was surprised he took it at 135lbs too, I wasn’t surprised he was taking the quick turnaround. I assumed he would ask for a catchweight, but he was fine taking it at 135lbs.”

Going into the fight at UFC 292, Mario Bautista said he didn’t have much time to come up with a game plan. Instead, he says he was just going to trust himself and fight his fight, which is what he did.

Although it was a close fight, after the final bell rang Bautista was confident he did enough to get the win.

“I felt like I could have done better. But, looking back at it, it’s a short-notice opponent and I had to make a lot of adjustments. I’m just happy I gutted it out and was able to get it done, even through all the circumstances,” Bautista said. “I feel pretty good with my performance… I was confident, as soon as the fight ended I felt good. But, when you are waiting for the scorecards to be read, I was a little nervous because you never know. To be honest, I was kinda expecting it to be a split but I still figured I did do enough to win.”

With Mario Bautista getting the win, the goal is to return in December and fight on the same card as his teammate Sean O’Malley.

“I’m looking to get back in December on that pay-per-view in Vegas. I know Sean’s trying to defend his belt on that card. I’d love to get back in camp with him again and fight on the same card as him again,” Bautista said.

As Mario Bautista says, the plan is to return in December, and isn’t sure if rebooking the Cody Garbrandt fight makes sense. Instead, Bautista hopes a ranked opponent comes next for him as he feels like he deserves it.

“I’m not sure what is with his timeline, but I’m not going to put anything on hold for Cody. If things line up, I’d take it. But, we were supposed to fight at International Fight Week. It got pushed back cause he needed a procedure done. I agreed to it being pushed back until August and he fell out again. I don’t know if I want to take the risk again. But, I do hope it’s either Cody or a ranked guy next.”


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