Las Vegas, NV — “There’s a lot of things that I corrected and had to change in my life and my career,” former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt admitted during this week’s UFC 285 media day.
Garbrandt has been on a horrific skid the last several years, winning just once since 2016, and posting a 1-5 record in that span. He makes his return against Trevin Jones this Saturday, and spoke during this week’s media day about what he’s changed, and just what he’s gone through outside the cage.
“I do well with structure and routine; I was out of that for a little bit. I truly believe everything happens for a reason, there’s a reason why those fights didn’t prosper,” Garbrandt told media outlets including Cageside Press. “Just very excited for the camp that I had, and to be here for fight week, to be speaking in front of you guys, and just to be honest with you — I’m very excited to go make weight Friday and showcase my skills on Saturday.”
That excitement hasn’t always been there. “So many times in the past, I’ve not had that. I’ve been numb, walking to the arena. You have 20,000 fans going crazy for the fight, and you just have no feeling or numbness. But now I have a feeling of excitement.”
In his last outing, Garbrandt made the move down to flyweight, only to end up knocked out by Kai Kara-France. To hear Cody “No Love” tell it, it wasn’t the weight cut that did him in.
“Let me honest with you with that fight. I felt good in the sense of, the weight cut was good. But outside that, my life was in shambles,” said Garbrandt. “It wasn’t good, I wasn’t in a good place, I wasn’t happy. I went through the motions. Camp was good, I had a bunch of injuries going into the fight.” Later, Garbrandt again noted the numb feeling he had at the time. “My mind wasn’t there. Honestly, I was walking to the octagon numb, like ‘f*ck, I’ve got to go fight now?'”
“My life was not where I needed it to be at,” Gabrandt explained. Hence the move to Las Vegas, where Garbrandt now resides, training at Xtreme Couture. The move was motivated by family — after splitting with his now ex-wife, Garbrandt needed to stay close to his son.
That situation very much played a role in the numbness Garbrandt had with fighting. “Ended up getting divorced before my fight, selling the house the week of the fight. I have a son that was three years, four years old at the time. I come from a split family, I didn’t want that, but we had to put our career on [hold] for life, I had to do some life changes. Thankfully me and my ex-wife are great co-parents, doing amazing. Kai is just so blessed, he turns five next week, I’m so thankful for him and what he’s brought into my life.”
“Sometimes you just go separate ways, but I had a lot going on in my personal life,” Garbrandt added. “I think a lot of people don’t understand that we’re still humans at the end of the day. We still battle with things that regular humans do, we just have skills that I guess, that some people put us on a pedestal.”
Watch the full UFC 285 media day appearance by Cody Garbrandt above.