Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt is the newly crowned UFC Bantamweight champion of the world. However, he immediatly relinquished the belt to the little Maddux Maple, the boy who beat cancer and helped Garbrandt turn his life around and build his career in MMA.
The two met in 2011, back when Cody was still an amateur fighter who was making all the wrong decisions and throwing his life away. Maddux was five years old and had just been diagnosed with leukemia.
In June of 2011 Cody’s brother, Zach Garbrandt, found out about Maddux and told his brother he should reach out to the little boy. At age 19, Cody went to visit the Maple boy and after 90 minutes with him his life had changed. Cody was voluntarily wasting his life while Maddux was trying to hang on to his before it even really started.
“That little kid definitely helped change my life at a time when I needed a change, and I needed to grow up. He came into my life at the right time. It was a horrible circumstance but we were ready to make it our own miraculous story.”
Two years went by, Cody turned pro and was making a run for a chance at the UFC, and Maddux continued taking his chemotherapy pills. But the boy was losing his will to continue. Maddux’s father asked Cody for help and Garbrandt came through.
“Cody sent him a video and they talked. And he said, Maddux, ‘I need you to finish strong. I’m out here busting my butt and I think I’ve got a shot in a year or two of maybe getting to the big time. You’ve got to promise me…you face your treatment, you face these pills, you finish your chemo, you beat cancer and I promise you, I promise you, I will make it to the UFC, win my fight, and you will be there.’ And I swear to God, I swear to you, he ended up taking his pills that night and from the next day on, not one time, until treatment was over, did he complain or try to fight it. It was like, he had a mental block and Cody pumped him back up and he finished strong.”