On May 8, 2018, former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt released his autobiography along with his co-author Mark Dagostino. The book was published by W Publishing, an imprint of Thomas Nelson. The 240-page book documents the rough childhood of Garbrandt that started on the streets of Uhrichsville, Ohio, to the golden stage of UFC fame. Garbrandt also realized the life of another he thought he was saving, would in fact be saving him.
About Cody Garbrandt
Cody Garbrandt was born on July 7, 1991, in Uhrichsville, Ohio. The small eastern Ohio town no larger than three square miles, with a population just over 5,000. These were the stomping grounds for a young Garbrandt.
During the span of his rough childhood, Garbrandt discovered wrestling along with his brother Zach. Both would go on to become successful in the sport, with Garbrandt dropping out of wrestling after losing in the state championship finals. His uncle Bob Garbrandt, who had a troubled life like Cody’s father and grandfather, cleaned himself up and began to coach Cody in boxing.
Garbrandt would begin his professional career in December 2012, winning by first-round TKO at Pinnacle FC: Pittsburgh Challenger Series 1. Thanks to his amazing and supportive team and a deal made with Urijah Faber, Garbrandt made it to the UFC.
He would win another five bouts under the UFC banner and get his title shot against Dominick Cruz. The big shot came at UFC 207 In December 2016. Garbrandt comfortably controlled the bout to win via unanimous decision and become the newest bantamweight champion.
In November 2017, Garbrandt attempted to defend the title against long-time rival, T.J. Dillashaw. He lost by second-round knockout at UFC 217. August 4, 2018, hosts the rematch as Garbrandt will get a shot to regain his title from Dillashaw at UFC 227.
Life Changing Events in the Book
The beginning of the book discusses the harsh childhood of Garbrandt in a small town. His family had a bad reputation as being “the fighters”, and troublemakers. Almost every male figure in the life of Garbrandt was in prison, including his father, who was in and out of jail.
Despite a tumultuous upbringing, Garbrandt always had his older brother Zach, and his mother. His mother worked tirelessly to make sure Garbrandt attended every wrestling camp available to keep him out of the early trouble, which he was already finding. His mother was the first life-saving figure in his life.
Garbrandt chronicles the journey of his early wrestling days, which would eventually lead to MMA. Garbrandt entered Claymont High School with his eyes set on being the school’s first four-time wrestling state championship.
After a successful bid his freshmen year, Garbrandt was pinned in the state championship his sophomore year, derailing that dream.
During his high school days, he would discover his love of boxing. Garbrandt’s uncle, Bob, was an Olympic alternate in the sport but faced several legal issues in his younger days. Bob began secretly teaching Garbrandt boxing behind his mother’s back, who did not approve of the violence.
Even though he skipped the final two years of wrestling in high school, Garbrandt would still attend the national championship tournament, and performed well enough to garner college scholarship opportunities.
While traveling with a group of wrestlers for a tournament, Garbrandt first competed in MMA in his hotel room. He encouraged his teammates to bring their mattresses into his room and make their own make-shift mat and wall. At this moment Garbrandt knew MMA was the only form of combat he wanted in his life. He attended a few colleges before finally giving up on collegiate wrestling and schoolwork. He was ready to pursue his dream of becoming a UFC champion.
Returning Home and the Life Saving Event
Garbrandt goes into detail about returning home and falling into the same small town problems. After deciding he was going to dedicate his life to MMA and began his amateur career, a friend called needing a ride from a local bar.
Garbrandt decided to help his friend out and give him a ride home. Consequently, a series of quick events would lead to an all-out bar brawl, resulting in Garbrandt sustaining a severe cut to his calf.
While he was taking the time to recover, his brother Zach informed him of a small child in their area fighting cancer. Zach told Cody that he was sure there was something he could do to help out the family. This kid was Maddux Maple, and he would be Garbrandt’s saving grace from falling into the trap of despair he was so close to being swallowed up in.
The Journey With Maddux
A bond was formed with Garbrandt and Maddux from day one. From very early in his amateur career, Maddux has been along for the ride. The two have grown together and won together.
Maddux faced several challenges and scares along the way battling Leukemia, but would eventually enter remission. A pact was made; Maddux would defeat cancer and Garbrandt would win the UFC title. Long before Garbrandt was even in the UFC he made this pact and promised to keep it. All along the book, you would think Garbrandt was saving Maddux’s life, giving him something to live for. You very quickly realize that Maddux is the one saving Garbrandt’s life. The two are saving graces for the other making for a life-long friendship that will never die.
This is a must-read for not just UFC fans, but fans of inspirational battles where the good people win. The book will give you a whole new perspective on the person that is Cody Garbrandt. If you are not a fan already, this book will turn you into one.