Cody Garbrandt reflects on UFC 217, talks fighter pay, ‘Something’s gotta change’

Cody Garbrandt

At UFC 217 we witnessed one of the most anticipated grudge matches of the year and the bantamweight gold was on the line.

That fight, of course, being the battle between heated former teammates TJ Dillashaw and the then champion, Cody Garbrandt.

Initially, the fight was supposed to go down at UFC 213 as the headliner of 2017’s international fight week. Unfortunately, Garbrandt would suffer a back injury that moved the fight back to UFC 217 where it would end up happening at.

But as Garbrandt recollects when speaking to media (via MMAFighting) today, he still wasn’t in the best condition heading into the fight even at a later date.

“What can I do? I pulled out of the fight [for the initial date of UFC 213]. I had a wife that was pregnant. I fought Dominick Cruz for $200,000 a year before that. I’m trying to buy a house, I’m trying to get insurance, all the things you’re thinking you made it, you’re a world champion and you’ve got all this f*cking money but we’re not, man. I understand you have to build your way up to it and it’s good, but, I couldn’t pull out.

Two weeks before the fight, I had to go to Vegas and get eight epidurals shot in my back so I could heal up and go to the fight week in New York. I don’t regret anything. I’m blessed, being able to be here with now. And I’m healthy and that’s the thing, I’m so excited to be here and speak to you guys, I’m excited to be getting into the Octagon.”

Expanding further on the matter, it really comes down to how much is being made money-wise for the former champion Garbrandt.

“You have to live life and now I have to take care of my family. That’s why you see all these fighters who want these money fights. You can’t blame them. They go in there and literally take years off our life. For what, $40,000? $50,000, some of these fighters are coming in 10 and 10 so, what, if they get their ass beat and make what, $10,000? It’s crazy, man. You’ve got NHL players and MLB players making millions and millions and millions and we’re the fastest growing sport in the world. Something’s gotta change.

I had a good fight, the pay-per-view did good at Madison Square [Garden], so I’m happy. I’ve [got] some investments, I’ve got good people in my life managing my money. All I’ve got to do is win at the end of the day and the checks keep coming in.”

This Saturday night at UFC 227 in Los Angeles, California, Garbrandt will look to reclaim the gold in a rematch against his rival, Dillashaw.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/30/2018