Cody Garbrandt revealed during a recent interview that he was one of the few people to have attempted to persuade Urijah Faber not to end his retirement against Ricky Simon.
And in many ways, it was understandable.
Simon was the guy who was supposed to pull off the win there, the young, in-form prospect who has a very bright future in the sport and an already-growing reputation.
Cody Garbrandt, who stands as one of the finest students to have ever emerged from Faber’s Team Alpha Male’s gym, spoke about his immediate reaction to The California Kid’s decision to end his retirement.
Speaking to FanSided in a recent interview, the former UFC bantamweight champion expressed his original belief that Faber was making the wrong choice – while commending him on his unteachable mental toughness in the face of adversity.
“For Urijah to have such a lucrative career, for as long as he’s had, ups and downs, it shows how mentally strong he is. He believes in himself, and I’m excited for him to go out and fight. Actually, I’m probably the only one in the gym that told him not to take the fight.
“Not many 40-year old’s are coming back after a three-year layoff, and putting themselves in the lion’s den. I mean, our gym is just, every day you’ve got to be on it. Or you’re getting you’re head ripped off.
“There’s not an easy day, there’s not an easy round, there’s not an easy anything, and that’s how it has to be. All these guys are levelling up, and MMA is transcending.”
Right now, Faber will likely find himself face with another top-15 opponent after his TKO of the #15-ranked Simon and against all odds, he has found himself in something of a war of words with the division’s champion, Henry Cejudo.
Both guys took to their respective Twitter accounts to fire off a few light jabs in the wake of Faber’s first TKO/KO finish in twelve years.
Careful what you wish for my corn-rolled princess. You could be the next legend to bend the knee to Triple C. https://t.co/j5NcVrEoqz
— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) July 14, 2019
— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) July 15, 2019
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena