Cody Garbrandt's return to bantamweight will come against Julio Arce. Both fighters announced the news on social media, and it was initially reported by Eurosport NL.
The forthcoming UFC 285 pay-per-view (PPV) event, set to take place on Saturday, March 4, 2023, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, will feature a collision between former "Contender Series" highlight Julio Arce and former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt. Garbrandt will put a stop to his 125-pound test against Kai Kara-France at UFC 269 and revert to the weight division that put him on the map.
Though Garbrandt is a former champion, up-and-coming prospect Arce will be hoping to send a message by upsetting him. Fans could anticipate a strong action when these two competitors enter the Octagon on March 4 because their clash is going to be intriguing.
Garbrandt will try to rebound after losing five of his last six matches, including a battle at flyweight where he was defeated by Kai Kara-France via first-round TKO at UFC 269 in December 2021. Prior to finishing Raphael Assuncao at UFC 250 in June 2020, Garbrandt hadn't triumphed in a fight since defeating Dominick Cruz for the bantamweight title over four years ago.
Arce, 33, dropped to 18-6 after losing to Montel Jackson by a unanimous decision at UFC 281 in November. After a bright beginning to his UFC career that saw back-to-back victories over Dan Ige and Daniel Teymur, the New Yorker struggled through his next seven fights, posting a lackluster 3-4 record and being unranked at 135 pounds.
Although the March 4 fight card for UFC 285 is yet to include a headliner, several fights have been confirmed, including the strawweight clash between Jessica Penne and Tabatha Ricci. In addition, a bantamweight fight between Farid Basharat and Da'Mon Blackshear will take place, while at 125 pounds, Viviane Araujo and Amanda Ribas will square off.
In the upcoming weeks, further fight announcements for UFC 285 are anticipated.