Cody Garbrandt will go home for his next fight as the former bantamweight champion is expected to face Raphael Assuncao at the upcoming UFC Fight Night card from Columbus, Ohio on March 28.
Multiple sources close to the fight confirmed to MMA Fighting that verbal agreements are in place following an initial report from ESPN. The UFC has made no official announcements about the bantamweight matchup.
Garbrandt, who hails from a small town approximately two hours west of Columbus, will fight in Ohio for the first time since 2014 in his last bout before he was signed by the UFC.
The former 135-pound champion has fallen on harder times lately in his career with three straight losses all by knockout including two fights with former teammate T.J. Dillashaw as well as a setback against Pedro Munhoz in his last outing.
Most recently, Garbrandt has traveled to New Jersey to work with head coach Mark Henry and his team, which includes former UFC champions Frankie Edgar and Eddie Alvarez.
As for Assuncao, he will also look to get back in the win column after back-to-back losses in his past two fights to Marlon Moraes and Cory Sandhagen. Assuncao is 4-2 overall in his past six fights including wins over Aljamain Sterling and Rob Font.
The UFC Fight Night card from Columbus will originate from the Nationwide Arena with heavyweights Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the main event.