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Cody Garbrandt admits he ‘lost the passion for fighting’ after becoming champion

A re-energized “No Love” talks about his journey through a three-fight losing skid and then COVID-19 long haul symptoms.

UFC 235: Garbrandt v Munhoz Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight champion, Cody Garbrandt, isn’t booked to return to the cage yet ... but he’s close. It’s coming. In a new interview with Brendan Schaub, “No Love” discussed the long haul COVID symptoms that took him out of a Flyweight title fight and his mindset fighting out of a three-fight skid that included the loss of his belt.

“I was at that point in my career where like am I going to keep going half-heartedly in this because I kind of lost the passion for fighting,” Garbrandt said. “I felt like I was going through the motions, there. Honestly, after I won the world championship (I lost the passion). I think I was so fixated on being a world champion and I got there.

“I never got to — and I think this is why I lost the passion or wasn’t as hungry as I should have been as world champion — I didn’t get to set my goals,” he continued. “I visualized on that goal for a decade. I didn’t have time to fixate on, ‘Okay, these are going to be my next goals. These are my next fights, these are my next visualizations.’”

There were also compatibility issues with his former main camp of Team Alpha Male.

“Team Alpha Male is wrestling-based and wrestling is a straight grind,” he said. “That’s how they implement their training is the grind. But, I’m not a tractor. I’m a Ferrari. You have to mold your own body to tailor it to your fights and fight camps.”

As for the COVID-19?

“I had vertigo for about two months while I was training,” he said. “And I would get two or three rounds of sparring or grappling and then it was like onset, and the room’s spinning like I’m drunk. I would do a roll or somersault and it would onset my vertigo to where once it started, it’d be four to five days of that. I didn’t know I had COVID for about two months. We went down to Tyson’s ranch and that’s when we had to get COVID tested and they were like, ‘Oh you’re positive.’ I had vertigo, but vertigo wasn’t linked.”

After taking weeks off to recover from the virus, he went back into training only to suffer from some serious blood clot issues.

“I ripped my vein in half and and all the blood was just everywhere [in my bicep],” he said. “I had to go straight to the hospital get shots put in my thigh every three days. Blood thinners. I’m still on blood thinners. I had three blood clots in my arm. So that’s what took me out of the fight with Figuereido.”

So what’s next for Cody Garbrandt? Both he and UFC sound down with setting up a fight with Jose Aldo in late April / early May.

“They said you can sit and have a [Flyweight] title shot,” he said. “I don’t want to do that. An inactive fighter, that’s how you kill your career. I want to get in camp, get sharp, get a win, get a fight off my contract, make some money. That’s how we make money, is fighting. And I’m at a place in my career now where I’m f—king hungry man, I’m hungry.”

That timeline is also perfect for lining up Garbrandt to face the winner of Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno.

“I feel like my style of fighting and the way that I fight is tailored for those guys,” he said. “And Moreno? I think I’ll stop him, I’d knock him out. He gets hit too much. And the same thing with Figueiredo.”

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