OutKick Exclusive: UFC Star Cody Garbrand Sympathizes With Tom Brady Over Mental Health Effect Of Divorce

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Former UFC Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrandt knows all too well the importance of being mentally sound before heading into competition.

Garbrandt, who exploded into the UFC with an 11-0 record, has fallen on tough times lately, both in and out of the octagon.

Though nothing is guaranteed – especially in the fight world – Cody has lost some recent matches that many thought he should have won. (Easier said than done, of course)

However, when I spoke with Garbrandt earlier this week, he openly admitted that during his last match in which he lost to Kai Kara-France via a 1st round TKO, he was going through some tough family times, not too different from Tom Brady himself.

Cody Garbrandt fights at UFC 285 on Saturday against Trevin Jones. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“Growing up, I came from a split family and my mom went through two divorces. She’s a great woman and always put us first. And it was tough seeing that,” Garbrandt said.

“For me, it was a limbo stage [dealing with his recent divorce.]” Cody continued with, “I think it kind of went into my career, I was in limbo. I’ve got to be there, I can’t be here… One foot in, one foot out. But now it’s about just getting back into the consistency of the routine and structure. I had struggled in the past with that, but when I’m structured and in a routine, that’s where I’m at my best.”


Many, including Brady’s former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians, have attributed the superstar quarterback’s lackluster season to the QB not being completely focused, due to his highly publicized divorce with ex-wife Gisele Bundchen. Arians even said that Brady “regressed,” because of the personal issues.

Garbrandt can relate.

“Just like Tom [Brady] went through his divorce. I had been separated and got divorced two weeks before my last fight. Sold my house the actual week of my fight, there were a lot of things going on and that’s why I wasn’t engaged in what I needed to be engaged in,” Garbrandt continued.

Cody said that he’s been putting a bigger focus on his mental health, which is important in all sports but especially in the fight game. The UFC has mental health professionals and therapists fighters are able to speak with.

“There’s days that you don’t want to be training, there’s days that you’re like ‘I wish this session was over, I wish I was sitting on my couch relaxing,’ but it doesn’t matter how you feel, it’s what you do and that’s the mentality you have to bring in there and just be engaged from the start to the finish.”

UFC 285 features the return of Jon Jones. (Credit: UFC.com)


Cody confirmed that he believes he is at his best right now.

He’s admitted that public figures and athletes, including himself, sometimes act as if everything is fine when that really isn’t the case. But he insists that when he says it now, he truly does believe that he is stronger – both physically and mentally. He can added that he is absolutely ready for tomorrow night’s fight.

UFC 285 airs tomorrow night live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and showcases the return of Jon Jones in the heavyweight division against Ciryl Gane.

Written by Mike Gunzelman

Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman has been involved in the sports and media industry for over a decade. He’s also a risk taker - the first time he ever had sushi was from a Duane Reade in Penn Station in NYC.

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