Garbrandt and Almeida ready to explode in UFC Fight Night 88

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Looking for the KO: Cody Garbrandt.

But only one will strengthen their claim to one day get a shot at the 135lbs belt in Monday’s (start time: 05:00, UAE) headliner at UFC Fight Night 88 in Las Vegas.

The two fighters explosive styles almost guarantee fireworks and that’s only been intensified after Garbrandt briefly clashed with one of Almeida’s cornermen, fellow UFC bantamweight Felipe Arantes, earlier this week.

With both fighters finishing 90 per cent of their opponents, and earning a combined 21 finishes in the first round, another knockout win for either man would catapult them into the title conversation.

And 24-year-old Garbrandt is planning on doing just that.

“It puts me up in the top of the division where I belong,” the American said. “I want to fight the guys that are supposed to be tough, and knock them off and get a shot at that title. My eyes are on the gold.

“Once I hit him once it’s going to turn into a brawl I know it. And that’s what I’m waiting for because I’m a better brawler than him, I’m a better fighter than him and I’m a better martial artist than him.”

While Garbrandt is one for the pre-fight barbs, Brazilian Almeida believes it’s a complete waste of time.

“My thing is the fight in the octagon,” the 24-year-old told MMAjunkie.

“I’ll show the fight in there. I just have to be the Thomas that I am, that everybody loves seeing. My only thing is to go out there and fight the way I fight.”

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