Cody Garbrandt fires back at Sean O’Malley: My UFC 250 KO was “way better”

Cody Garbrandt, TJ Dillashaw
Image: UFC on Instagram

Cody Garbrandt and Sean O’Malley both picked up huge knockout wins at UFC 250, but Garbrandt feels his was the better of the two.

O’Malley, an undefeated prospect, picked up a dazzling first-round knockout win over WEC champ Eddie Wineland in the pay-per-view opener. Garbrandt, the former UFC bantamweight champion, delivered a brutal, one-punch KO over long-time contender Raphael Assuncao in the co-main event.

Post-fight, there was much debate as to whose KO was better. O’Malley fanned the flames by claiming his was the superior knockout.

“His looked like something you’d see in a bar fight, mine was clean pure technique,” O’Malley wrote on Twitter.

Speaking to TMZ, Garbrandt weighed in on the debate. By his estimation, his knockout win over Assuncao was “way better” than O’Malley’s KO of Wineland.

“Mine was way better,” Garbrandt said. “Way [more] vicious. My dude couldn’t get up.”

“I knew that as soon as I started that punch, the trajectory of where it was going, the force and the speed, it was going to connect and knock him out,” he added. “It was a picture-perfect punch and just a nice walk off.”

Both Garbrandt and O’Malley received $50,000 bonus checks for their handiwork at UFC 250, but Garbrandt believes Assuncao is a superior test compared to Wineland, which makes his victory that much more impressive.

“[Assuncao is] leap years ahead of any adversary [O’Malley] has ever fought,” Garbrandt said. “Hats off to him. He did good, went out there and performed, got a knockout victory … but you can’t compare when you’re fighting the Top 5 in the world.

“[O’Malley has] never fought anybody in the Top 15, so that’s a huge difference when you’re able to starch people like that at each level,” Garbrandt added.

Garbrandt concluded by claiming that the punch he landed on Assuncao might be the hardest he’s ever landed in a sanctioned MMA fight.

“I guess in a sanctioned fight, yeah,” he said. “I’ve blasted some fools bare fist before like that, had some nice knockouts — but yeah, definitely in a sanctioned fight that was a nice timed right-hand.”

With his victory over Raphael Assuncao, Cody Garbrandt rebounded from a trio of knockout losses: two at the hands of TJ Dillashaw, and a third against Pedro Munhoz. Despite these recent losses, the former champion is now firmly back in the bantamweight title picture.

What do you think is next for Cody Garbrandt after UFC 250?