As Cody Garbrandt prepares to compete for the first time in more than a year, the former UFC bantamweight champ is coming clean about what went wrong in his only fight at 125 pounds.
While it would be easy to guess that he endured a terrible weight cut, the 31-year-old veteran says his body was actually in the best possible shape after working with a doctor who safely helped him make the transition. Garbrandt admitted that it wasn’t his training camp alone that cost him the fight against Kai Kara France in December 2021..
“Let me be honest with you, with that fight,” Garbrandt explained, “I felt good in the sense of the weight cut went good, but outside of that, my life was in shambles. The result was not good. It wasn’t a place I liked. It wasn’t a happy place. I did the .”
According to Garbrandt, the couple was going through a divorce and a separation. This was even more difficult because they have a small child.
Garbrandt grew up in a household where his parents split when he was a child. This made it difficult for him to prepare for fights while his marriage was crumbling.
” My mind was not there,” Garbrandt stated. Garbrandt said, “I was just walking to the Octagon with my mind numb. F ***, It’s time to fight!” The weight loss felt great. I could do the weight cut 10 times over, I felt good at [125 pounds]. I was not living the life that I wanted. I was in the limbo stage with a lot of it. Moving out here [to Las Vegas] and just changing things I needed to change, we have a career.
” I ended up being divorced. I sold my home the week before my fight. I have a son that was three years old, four years old at the time. My family is split and I don’t like it. However, I needed to make some changes in my life .
Garbrandt said he remains on good terms with his ex-wife, especially now that they’re both living in Las Vegas while raising their son together.
He started training full-time at Xtreme Couture, which was a big switch for Garbrandt after spending most of his career working with Urijah Faber and Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif.
Garbrandt was aware that he needed to take care of his family before he could focus his attention on his fight career. This is why he started to prepare for UFC 285.
“Thankfully me and my ex-wife are great co-parents, doing amazing,” Garbrandt said. “[My son] Kai is so blessed, he turns five next week. He has brought so much joy into my life and I am grateful for that. You sometimes just have to go your own way .”
, but in my private life I was very busy.
Because fighters can sometimes seem almost supernatural with all the admiration they get, Garbrandt stated that it is easy to forget that they are facing the same struggles as everybody else.
” I think that a lot people don’t realize we are still human at the end the day,” Garbrandt stated. We still have to deal with the same problems as regular people. We just have skills that, some people put us on pedestals, but at the same time we tie our shoes the same way and deal with the same personal stress and things that go on in life.
“I was finally able to handle that and move forward. She’s happy and I’m happy and our kid’s flourishing. My life has been set up to accomplish what it was meant to be. That’s keep my focus on my job, my family, my child, and my future.
Compared to the situation he faced before his last fight Garbrandt said he has been able focus his attention on his preparations and getting ready to return to bantamweight.
The outcome of his fight against Trevin Jones on Saturday night will determine which fighter is the best — Garbrandt could not ask for more.
“When you hear this, it’s because I feel amazing, that I felt great and I did a lot for the fight, Garbrandt stated. “I’m just excited to go out there and perform. I’m a performer, I’m an entertainer. It’s a joy to return to my position. I love this place, the energy and this passion. It could be called passion for the sport.
” It’s not enjoyable. I don’t think fighting is fun at all, but I enjoy it. It’s a great sport that I enjoy. Like motivation, fun comes and goes. Drivenness is essential. I’ve been enjoying the journey, the ups and downs. Through the dark times, you have to have the light. The light is I know I can turn this around with one fight.”