LAS VEGAS – Cody Garbrandt is confident there are better days ahead in his fighting career.
The former UFC bantamweight champion is determined to turn things around and get back to his winning ways. That all starts this Saturday, when Garbrandt (12-5 MMA, 7-5 UFC) makes his return against Trevin Jones on the preliminary card of UFC 285 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Garbrandt enters the bout on the heels of two consecutive defeats and a run of 1-5 in his past six fights. It’s not an ideal circumstance to be fighting Jones (13-9 MMA, 1-3 UFC), but Garbrandt feels he’s made the necessary changes to succeed.
“This is the best I’ve felt in years,” Garbrandt told reporters at the UFC 285 media day on Wednesday. “I’m excited to go out there and showcase my skills on Saturday. I’m a former world champion. I had that going on.
“I’m looking to rebound from the skid that I have going on. I understand that there’s ups and downs in life and just keeping the balance. I just need some momentum. You saw what momentum did in 2016. I went from unranked to world champion. All it takes is one fight at a time and then snowball effect, and I’ll make it back to the top.”
Garbrandt is now training in Las Vegas, as he relocated from Sacramento, Calif. He also revealed that heading into his last fight against Kai Kara-France, which he lost by TKO, he was going through a divorce and had several injuries. The 31-year-old said his life and mental health are in a much better place now.
Some may doubt Garbrandt’s abilities to bounce back from his streak, but that’s OK with the former champion.
“Honestly, it’s always been like that,” Garbrandt said. “I’ve had doubt since I was born. I was born into dirt. My mom was a single parent, we weren’t supposed to make it this far, so I just keep proving everyone wrong, staying humble, do what I need to do, and just go in there and train every day and get better.
“Also understand that it happens, it’s a fight, you know. This is a game of inches. Sometimes you might get caught, and luckily I was 11-0, champion, 25 years old. I truly believe that I still have a lot of fight left in me. As long as the passion and the hunger is there, the sky is the limit.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 285.