Fighting Out Of: Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
Next Fight: TBD
Cody Stamann is an American Mixed Martial Artist fighting in the UFC’s Bantamweight division. He is currently on a ten fight winning streak that has seen him defeat the likes of Bryan Caraway and Tom Duquesnoy. Cody is currently ranked as the number eleven Bantamweight in the world and is being considered one of the divisions next top contenders.
You’re currently in an exciting time in your career, having beaten your first ranked opponent and being on a ten fight win streak with your only win before that coming by split decision. What’s next for you?
“I just want to keep moving up. I think my next fight is going to be against another top ten contender and I think that is going to be the fight that puts me on everybody’s radar as a guy who could potentially be the next champ.”
The rematch between TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt is coming up, how do you see that fight playing out and how do you think you match up with both guys?
“Stylistically, I think that Cody Garbrandt could catch TJ Dillashaw again and put him away but if the fight goes past the first few rounds I definitely think TJ is going to get the win again. They are obviously two of the best guys in the world, so I’d have to continue to improve everywhere to be able to compete with them. But they are definitely on my radar as guys that I think I’m going to be fighting in the next year or two.”
When the time comes for you to face off with those guys, I think your physicality will make for really interesting matchups.
“I am a lot bigger than both of them. That is one thing I see is that I do have a distinct size advantage over a lot of these guys at 135.”
What was the fight or moment in particular, that let you know you could fight at a high level?
“I think it was just training with guys that are at a high level you know. I’ve trained with Cody Garbrandt, TJ Dillashaw and Urijah Faber and a lot of other big top ten guys. When I was just getting my start, I did really really well against them and then, later on, saw these guys become the champ. Because when I was training with those guys they weren’t the stars they are now they were coming up just like me. So I think they kinda gave me the confidence and made me realise that I actually could be the best in the world at this sport.”
We already mentioned your physicality, what else separates you from the rest of the division?
“I think a lot of it is the mental aspect of the fight game. I’m able to make those in fight adjustments that win fights. You can see it when I fight, my third round is usually my best round because I figure my opponents out and I will learn their style and their timing. I’m getting better at it as I go, as I get more fight experience and I’m getting faster at figuring my opponents out and making the in fight adjustments to win. And even if I lose a round I can come back and win, so I think it’s a mental toughness thing and I think a lot of it is also will. Because if I know that I’m down, I’m going to push the gas pedal until I know that I’m far enough ahead to win the fight and that’s something that a lot of guys just don’t have. They break in fights. When TJ Dillashaw got up and came out for that second round I think that broke Cody Garbrandt, I think he struggled with it. And I think that happens with a lot of guys, they wilt if they aren’t having their way. They get frustrated. I’m not one of those guys, I always keep finding a way to win.”
I definitely saw that in your fight with Caraway. Even though Caraway is a top guy and has been fighting for a long time, I saw in that third round especially, that he was getting super frustrated because he felt that he couldn’t do what he wanted to do to you. That really stood out to me as the most impressive part of that fight, the fact that you weren’t only hanging with a vet like Caraway but that you were frustrating him and taking him out of his game.
“Yeah well, that was the game plan. Obviously, it wasn’t part of the game plan to go out and lose the first round but I came out flat and went out and made up for it in the next two rounds and did what I had to do to win.”
I know you train with a tonne of great guys but who is one person that you train with that stands out to you every time you are in the gym?
“There are a couple of young guys on our team, that are very young in their careers and have a lot of promise. You know it’s funny, guys that may be absolute killers in the cage and are doing well in their professional career aren’t always the guys that do well in the gym. You never really know. If you are in a gym that is legit and you have a bad day all the young hitters are going to kick your ass. There is another guy in the gym who I have a really hard time with, he is a southpaw and I’m a lot bigger than him and I hit hard and have more experience but for whatever reason man he just gives me trouble. You need that though. You need that adversity when you train and you need to feel that pressure of being behind in the gym that way when it happens in a fight you are prepared for it.”
That’s why I always ask that question. It’s really interesting to hear about some guys who are killers in the gym but can’t put it together in the cage or about guys who are amazing in the cage but don’t train at that level.
“Absolutely man. It happens more than you know. Guys who just can’t put it together in the cage but if you see them in the gym they just beat the shit out of everybody. One of my good friends and longtime training partners Mike Hernandes was like that, everyone beat his ass in the gym but he got in the cage and just knocked dudes out cold. He was like a whole different fighter when you put him in the cage and no one could figure it out but for whatever reason when he was in a fight he could rise to the occasion”
Who is someone that inspires you?
“There are a lot of different athletes and people. But I listen to a lot of motivational speaking and one person that I really really like is Will Smith. He is a great motivational speaker and I love a lot of things he talks about, like chasing your dreams and putting all eggs in one basket and just going for it. I think that kinda helped me to be okay with the profession that I chose because I kinda just put all my eggs in one basket and went after something that was so unrealistic to everyone else. I was pretty heart set on being an athlete and being successful in the fight game and I think that if I had any distractions or any other jobs or goals in my life other than being good at fighting, I’d never be where I am today. So I think a lot of those types of motivational speeches sunk in and helped mould me into the athlete I am today.”