During UFC 269 media day on Wednesday, Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt discussed his move down to flyweight and how he’s feeling mentally and physically ahead of his flyweight debut against Kai Kara-France, taking place this Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“I’ve never felt like this, you know,” Garbrandt said. “There’s been glimpses of these feelings and I know every fight camp and every fight week’s different. And every fight is different, but if you were to pull from the past, I feel like this Saturday night will be a flow state No Love.”
Garbrandt’s reference to a ‘flow state No Love’ refers back nearly five years ago to UFC 207, where he defeated Dominick Cruz by unanimous decision to become the UFC bantamweight champion at just 25 years old.
When Garbrandt was reminded of the five year anniversary of the night he became champion, approaching on December 20, he took a moment to reflect on his journey thus far.
“Man, five years is a long time to go through a career in the UFC,” Garbrant said. “Life itself, five years, so much can change. There’s a lot of good, a lot of bad, a lot of learning experiences, a lot of growth. A lot of growth in those five years, you know. Dismantled one of the best bantamweights ever in a master class performance. And I was sitting here and there’s the same doubters that, you know, have those questions like, ‘oh can you do it again in a different weight division,’ I’ve done it once before. Why can’t I do it again?”
“I don’t really spend too much energy on the doubt or the negative energy, I just focus on what I can control and I know that I have prepared mentally, physically, emotionally. I’ve been through every emotion in this sport. In this life. Ups and downs. Where I’ve came from, where I’m going and what I’m set out to do.”
Garbrandt goes on to explain how looking back, he wasn’t ready to become a champion at such a young age, but feels he now has the ability to handle being a champion.
“I was 25 years old. I focused on being a world champion and I won the title and where was my focus after being a world champion at? It was amazing don’t get me wrong, it was great to be a world champion, but I almost felt, ‘what’s next,’ I didn’t have that next goal, that next plan, that next vision. And at flyweight, I know. 30 years old, five years later, I take the learning experiences of being a world champion and really valuing it. I didn’t value it. I had the belt in my closet, lost a couple times, you know.”
“Now I value it, because it’s not that I need this to be my identity, but I value the hard work and the ups and downs and the things that you have to go through to be the best. And that’s why when I look into this title and look into this future, that’s what inspires me, is (that) the road I took is a lot less traveled.”
Garbrandt (12-4) is 1-4 since winning the UFC world title off Dominick Cruz back in December of 2016. However, he’s insisting that the move down to flyweight has re invigorated a more disciplined version of himself in addition to now having the ability to be more equally sized with his opponents.
Kara-France (22-9) is 3-2 in his last five fights with the UFC, with his most recent victory coming by first round TKO via punches.