This was not the Monday that Cody Gibson was expecting.
The UFC bantamweight’s day began with news that celebrity gossip website TMZ.com had posted a video of Gibson being punched in the face and the subsequent scuffle which took place last week at a Las Vegas bar.
“When I woke up this morning, I definitely had that pit in the bottom of my stomach, like, ‘Holy crap. Could I be that guy?’ You know, who gets fired over some stupid stuff,” Gibson said today in an interview with Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown.” “I didn’t think that it would be on TMZ... I have 1,800 followers on Twitter. I’m not [Clayton] Kershaw. I’m not [Derek] Jeter. I’m not Jon Jones.”
Gibson explained that, following his loss to Manny Gamburyan at UFC 178 on Sept. 27, he stayed in Vegas for a few extra days to visit with a college friend. According to the 27-year-old Californian, he was out with his friend when the unidentified man seen throwing the punch in the video started a verbal alterction.
“This guy was being a typical kind of bro and started saying some stuff to me. At first, I told him I did not want to fight, two or three times. He was definitely egging on the situation, and then he started to irritate me,” said Gibson, who admitted to being intoxicated at the time. “Then I told him who I was, which was probably the worst idea, because then, after that, I feel like he really wanted to fight. And then, yeah, man, one thing led to another. I don’t know, man. [It’s] definitely not something I’m proud of.
“When he punched me, luckily I didn’t start throwing punches. Luckily, I just shot the takedown and his buddies kind of grabbed on to me, and it was done by that point. I’m actually fortunate that it kind of ended the way it did. Had I beat the hell out of him or something, I think it could be a whole lot worse situation.”
As of Monday afternoon, Gibson hadn’t spoken to anyone at the UFC regarding the incident, but “The Renegade” said his management was in contact with the organization and believes things will be “OK.”
“I don’t think I’m out of the UFC,” Gibson said. “There’s no charges pressed. I didn’t throw any punches. Obviously it’s on TMZ, so that’s kind of ridiculous. It reminds me of a Roger Huerta-type thing.”
Gibson also hadn’t heard anything from his other employer, Mt. Whitney High School in Visalia, Calif., where he serves as a wrestling coach. The fighter said he plans to talk with his student athletes about the incident.
“I work with high school kids and I do a lot with the youths,” Gibson explained. “Especially in my community, I’m definitely a role model. This is not the message I want to give to the kids.”
Asked what he would do if faced with the same situation again, Gibson told “Beatdown” that he would take an entirely different approach.
“I think I’d just try to get out of the situation altogether, walk away to the best of my ability,” Gibson said.
“Looking back on it, it’s defintiely not going to be a highlight of my career.”
Listen to the full “Beatdown” interview with Cody Gibson here.