Cody Stamann has what most would consider a short-notice fight this Wednesday at UFC Fight Island 1.
Only, he doesn’t really see it that way. Speaking to Cageside Press during a virtual media day for the event, Stamann (19-2-1) noted that “I’m always in the gym, always working hard. So this wasn’t really, like everyone calls it a short notice fight, but in my last two fights, I started training hard in like January. I was doing that all year, so fighting again just made sense.”
Still, it’s a four-week turnaround, more or less, in a very deep division. One that Stamann considers the deepest in the promotion at the moment.
“I look at bantamweight division as the most stacked division in the UFC right now. It’s insane how many big names and talented guys there are. Probably 1 to 20. And to be in a mix, it’s amazing,” he stated. “It just means that I’ve got to be the absolute best athlete I can be because there are no easy fights at the top. After watching the title fight this weekend, I feel like I’m not that far from a fight like that.”
Of course, that fight saw Petr Yan stop Jose Aldo in a thrilling contest to claim the vacant 135lb title. And Stamann’s not wrong about the division’s depth, either. Bantamweight might have been under the radar for a bit, but over the past year and a half, it has really started to come into its own.
So has Stamann. But he’s had to struggle through adversity as well. The Michigan native lost his brother just days out from his last fight. Training has served as a refuge.
“I think it’s helped me work through everything. Fighting has definitely been one of the most positive things in my life. And it’s helped me conquer a lot of things,” he explained. “Fighting’s taught me how to kind of deal with the hard times. Fighting isn’t easy, fighting is the hardest sport there is.”
Fighting, Stamann added, teaches you that you have to keep pushing. “That’s something as a fighter and as a man that I’ve done through all this.”
Watch the full UFC Fight Island 1 virtual media day press scrum with Cody Stamann above.