Cody Garbrandt has revealed that he wanted to pull out of his UFC 217 bout, but had to fight because of financial reasons.
Garbrandt will have a chance to regain the championship he lost to T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 217 when the due square off in their rematch in the main event of UFC 227 in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
But as far he’s concerned, the first defeat never should have happened.
Garbrandt was still suffering from the nagging back issues that had already forced a postponement of their original match-up, but with a child on the way and a mortgage to make, he simply couldn’t afford to turn down the payday on offer.
“My money thing, I never wanted to have my motivation to be money, that’s not why I got into this sport, I got into it to be a world champion,” Garbrandt told reporters on Monday.
“[But] what can I do? I pulled out of the fight [for their first date in July]. I had a wife that was pregnant. I fought Dominick Cruz for $200,000 a year before that. I’m trying to buy a house, I’m trying to get insurance, all the things you’re thinking you made it, you’re a world champion and you’ve got all this f****** money but we’re not, man. I understand you have to build your way up to it and it’s good, but, I couldn’t pull out.”
Garbrandt revealed exactly what he had to go through just to make it to New York for the UFC 217 fight.
“Two weeks before the fight, I had to go to Vegas and get eight epidurals shot in my back so I could heal up and go to the fight week in New York,” he said. “I don’t regret anything. I’m blessed, being able to be here with now. And I’m healthy and that’s the thing, I’m so excited to be here and speak to you guys, I’m excited to be getting into the Octagon.”
Garbrandt also said that the UFC, which was sold for north of $4 billion just two years ago, should pay fighters more so that they are not forced to make these kinds of decisions.
“You have to live life and now I have to take care of my family,” he said. “That’s why you see all these fighters who want these money fights. You can’t blame them. They go in there and literally take years off our life. For what, $40,000? $50,000, some of these fighters are coming in 10 and 10 so, what, if they get their ass beat and make what, $10,000? It’s crazy, man. You’ve got NHL players and MLB players making millions and millions and millions and we’re the fastest growing sport in the world. Something’s gotta change.”