Cody Garbrandt says his “demons” are in the past, sets sights on bantamweight belt

Cody Garbrandt

Former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt has lost his last three fights, and all by way of knockout. As he gears up for his UFC 250 fight with Raphael Assuncao, he says his troubles are behind him.

“I just needed for me, first and foremost, to get out of my comfort zone and go rekindle that love for fighting,” Garbrandt told MMA Fighting ahead of UFC 250, explaining what he’s changed since his third straight loss. “I don’t know if I was going through the motions or if it was just the same thing but I needed a switch up.

“The only way that I could truly test myself was get out of my comfort zone, in a way that I’m away from my family, that comfort that you build inside of your life,” Garbrandt added.

“I don’t need to reinvent the wheel. It was little things that I necessarily wasn’t doing or wasn’t knowing that I was doing in terms of technical errors or things I was doing off rhythm or not off rhythm. They just broke me down to my strengths, my weaknesses and it’s been clicking.

“I’m obsessed with this sport. I’m obsessed with getting better. I’m obsessed with winning. Losing’s part of it. It challenges you to grow.”

Having had time to meditate on his defeats, Garbrandt is now determined to reclaim the UFC bantamweight strap and hold it until he retires.

“For me, I’m in the sport to be the best,” Garbrandt said. “It was never chasing money. I never even thought of money until I got money. It was like ‘oh sh*t I won some fights and here’s some money.’ That’s cool, that’s a plus side to it but money was never the motivating factor. It was always being the best. That’s my quest to get back to the title. I wanted to be the best in the world. I worked towards that. Dreamed of that. That was what was pushing me. This sport is a marathon, not a sprint. Just like life.

“I’ve battled my demons. I’m here to take the throne again. Whoever that is when my time comes for another title shot, I’ll be ready. I’m going to capitalize on it. I’m going to hold onto this title until it’s time to walk away from this sport.”

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