Garbrandt started his UFC career on the prelims of UFC 182 where he defeated Marcus Brimmage via third-round TKO. He followed that with four more victories in a little more than a year, which included a shot at then-champion Dominick Cruz. In an impressive performance, Garbrandt ended Cruz’s 13-fight winning streak with a decision win in 2016. That card was headlined by then champion Ronda Rousey, Garbrandt earned the biggest paycheck of his career $200,000, then his next wouldn’t be until November of 2017.
In between Cody Garbrandt was scheduled to defend his title with TJ Dillashaw at UFC 213’s headliner but scrapped off last year due to a back injury. He went on to face Dillashaw at UFC 217 which he lost via second-round knockout suffered his title and tasted first defeat of career.
Speaking during a media lunch Monday to promote his UFC 227 pay-per-view (PPV) fight against Dillashaw, Garbrandt claimed pre-fight injuries almost warrant a withdrawal, but with family obligations, he could not withdraw from UFC 217 due to financial reasons. (Via MMAFighting)
“My money thing, I never wanted to have my motivation to be money, that’s not why I got into this sport, I got into it to be a world champion,” Garbrandt said. “What can I do? I pulled out of the fight [for their first date in July]. 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,” Garbrandt said. “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.”
Garbrandt says how crazy it is for fighters to go inside the Octagon with nagging injuries for the sake of a paycheck and given that how the Promotion was sold for $4 billion couple years back, he can understand why more and more fighters don’t miss out the money fight opportunities.
“You have to live life and now I have to take care of my family,” Garbrandt said. “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.”
People need to understand, in MMA you have to earn your worth by reaching a top, its an era of trash talking to get recognition and sell a PPV buys.