Cody Garbrandt revealed he lost the passion for fighting right after becoming UFC bantamweight champion.
Garbrandt became the bantamweight king after an impressive performance against Dominick Cruz back in December 2016 that saw him earn the unanimous decision victory.
Unbeaten at the time, “No Love” should have been on top of the world. Instead, it was the opposite for Garbrandt.
“I kind of lost the passion for fighting,” Garbrandt revealed on a recent episode of Food Truck Diaries. “I kind of felt like I was going through the motions there.
“… Honestly, after I won the world championship [is when I lost the passion]. I was so fixated and driven on being a world champion. A lot of people around me were like, ‘wow, this is awesome. How is it?’ And I was like…it wasn’t what I though it was going to be.”
Garbrandt Injuries Didn’t Help
One reason for Garbrandt losing the passion is because he had reached the pinnacle and couldn’t fixate on any new goals because of the number of injuries he had to deal with right after becoming champion.
“A lot of stuff comes with being a world champion,” Garbrandt added. “For me, I always got into fighting to be the best. It’s a poor man’s sport. It was a decade of visualizing being the world champion, I finally get there, I’m like, ‘wow, I made $200k being a world champion. This is sweet.’
“Obviously, I tore my knee in the [Cruz] fight and right after that, I was on The Ultimate Fighter training with all those bigger guys, ended up tearing my back. I think this is why I lost the passion or wasn’t as hungry as I should have been being a world champion. Because I didn’t get to set my goals. I visualized on that goal for a decade of being a world champion. I didn’t have that time to fixate on my next goals, my next fights, my next visualizations. It was getting healthy, I was in rehab for 11 months and then they’re like, ‘hey, you’re fighting TJ.’ They tried to get me to fight TJ on a stem cell shot in my back and have a four-and-a-half week camp.”
The rest is history, of course, as Garbrandt would go on to suffer back-to-back TKO losses to Dillashaw and would also lose his third in a row after a TKO defeat to Pedro Munhoz in 2019.
However, he has since bounced back with an impressive second-round knockout of Raphael Assuncao last year and looks focused on becoming the best once again.
His next target is notably Jose Aldo while he waits for a flyweight title shot.