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Cody Garbrandt, current UFC bantamweight champion, spoke with M&F Hers to give us the lowdown on his training, motivation and even his favorite junk foods.
My mom put my brothers and me into wrestling classes at an early age—I think I was in kindergarten. My uncle was an amateur boxer growing up, and he trained me in boxing, too. I had my first match at 14 years old. When I turned 18, I jumped into the MMA cage, and everything just clicked. I haven’t looked back since.
I train seven days a week, two to three times a day for about four to six hours a day. If my body starts to fall apart, then I take a rest day. The first three days of the week I train really hard. The fourth day is less intense and focuses on recovery, maintenance, and mobility. Then the last three days we power back up in intensity.
Before a fight, I think of everything good I have in my life and everything I’ve accomplished so far. I remember just dreaming about getting into the UFC as a teenager, so I’m just thankful to be here. I’m not afraid to lose or to get beat up. I want to go out there and give it my all and show off my fighting skills. I remember that I have people who love me and who will stay in my life and support me whether I win or lose.
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I enjoy getting up every day and having another chance to perfect my craft. It’s all about the process of trying to become better. Every day I go into training is a day closer to my goal of being a world champion.
I try to eat super-clean, because it makes me feel healthier. I eat a lot of chicken, salmon, broccoli, and green beans. But I do have a sweet tooth—my go-tos include Twix or S’mores Pop-Tarts.
A strict training schedule has the fighter in the gym up to 42 hours a week.
I’ve seen so many beautiful places on this journey with MMA. My favorite so far has been Tokyo. I felt like I was a little kid—it was like being on a different planet.
I like to do anything that allows me to unwind from training, like going to the beach or concerts or just hanging out. I like to visit my family in Ohio. Going back to my roots helps me stay grounded.
My favorite tattoo is the portrait of Jesus I have on my left shoulder. I got it when I was 15.
I’m a visual person. I write goals down and work toward them. A couple of years ago I wrote that I’ll be the world champion in 2017, and I’ve been moving toward that goal ever since.
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