Last month, former Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight king Cody Garbrandt suffered his second consecutive loss to bitter rival and former teammate T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 227 in an unsuccessful attempt to recapture his bantamweight title.
Since that loss, the 27-year-old has disappeared from social media, which has led to speculation about his mental health and his future in the sport, especially given his revelation earlier this year that he struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts as a teen.
Garbrandt’s coach at the Team Alpha Male gym in Sacramento and former UFC fighter Uriah Faber was recently questioned about his fighter and reassured fans that everything is fine and that Garbrandt is using his time away from the spotlight to recharge and focus on his family.
“Cody is enjoying being a family man right now,” Faber told MMA Fighting on Monday. “He was in the gym the other day and he was in good spirits. I know he’s been working out still.”
The decision to step away from social media was a result of the toxic and negative messages Garbrandt received in the aftermath of his second loss to Dillashaw. Faber agreed it was probably a good decision to switch it off for a while.
“This is a mean world, and everyone likes to jump in and kick people when they’re down,” said Faber. “Cody is someone who wears his heart on his sleeve, there’s no pretenses with him. I don’t know if that has something to do with it, if it was negativity he was paying attention to.”
Faber knows all too well what it’s like to be on the receiving end of the negativity that can fester on social media and was happy for Garbrandt to ignore it all and stay focused on his job as a fighter.
“I myself, I get things all the time where people say ‘hey, did you see so and so said this, so and so said that?” Faber said. “I do my best to put the blinders on, and it’s funny, because the person with the microphone gets to dictate the storyline and right now it’s I had my time to be the guy with the microphone, and now it’s other people’s time. So you can’t worry about other people’s interpretations of things and whatnot. “
Faber said his experience overcoming adversity as a fighter could give Garbrandt a good perspective of the whole situation and will be ready sit down one-on-one with the former champ when he’s ready to have that conversation.
“I spent some time with Cody directly after the fight,” Faber said. “And I wasn’t necessarily the one that was in the corner for him for that fight, I’ve got some great perspectives for him, I said I’ve been in this a real long time I’ve got some good perspective for you, so, he seems open to that, we’re going to have a conversation about his path forward yet but it just hasn’t happened yet.”