It’s no secret that Cody Garbrandt didn’t have the easiest upbringing, but until now no one knew just how hard growing up was for the former UFC bantamweight champion.
In a candid interview with I Am Second, Garbrandt opened up about his tumultuous childhood, how he grew up fighting, and how he almost committed suicide as a teenager but was stopped by his big brother Zach.
“There’s a part of the story where Zach came and intervened in my life, where I wanted to give up,” Garbrandt said. “I was a teenager, I think I was a senior in high school, I wanted to become a state champion again. I won state as a freshman [but] I got beat as a sophomore [and] I was injured as a junior. Wrestling was something I did my whole entire life and I think losing the passion for that, I didn’t have any drive. I just felt unaccomplished and I got in with the wrong crowd and started doing some drugs and partying and kind of living super carelessly and it almost consumed my life. I felt like my road was running to an end.
“For a while, I wasn’t who I was. I was in a very dark place, a very very dark place and almost hung myself. My brother came in the door and he saved my life. It’s the first time talking about it but I’ve never been more grateful for him. He came in and busted down the door and gave me the biggest hug and sat there with me and cried with me and said everything was gonna be all right. That was the day that really was a changing point for me and my life as well.”
After the near tragedy, Garbrandt went on to place fifth in the national wrestling tournament his senior year. Garbrandt then briefly attended Notre Dame College before dropping out to pursue a full-time career in MMA. He won the UFC bantamweight title by taking a unanimous decision over Dominick Cruz at UFC 207 but lost it to rival T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 217. His most recent fight was a rematch with Dillashaw at UFC 227 where Dillashaw was once again victorious.
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