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Cody Brundage reacts after his knockout victory over Tresean Gore in their middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on July 09, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
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Cody Brundage Changes His Perspective

Cody Brundage Is Hoping His 'Outwork' Mentality Will Lead Him To Victory At UFC Fight Night: Song vs Simon

Cody Brundage appreciates the concern from family and friends before each fight, but if he’s being honest, by the time he gets those kind words, it’s too late to affect the result one way or another.

“They're more nervous than you, probably,” he laughs. “So you text them back, and you're like, ‘Oh, I'm good. But really, I'm like, at this point? It doesn't really matter, does it?”

Nope, the hay is in the barn or it’s not. And even if a fighter has done everything possible to get the W, four-ounce gloves can change everything with one shot, and Brundage knows that personally after a fight with Rodolfo Vieira was scrapped last November, opening up a short-notice fight a month later with Michal Olekseijczuk that saw him halted in the first round. But seeing his two-fight winning streak snapped didn’t leave him with any regrets.

Cody Brundage Stuns Gore With First-Round KO | UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs Fiziev
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Cody Brundage Stuns Gore With First-Round KO | UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs Fiziev
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“The fight obviously didn't go my way, but I liked the matchup,” Brundage said. “If they offered me that matchup again tomorrow, I still like it. It just wasn't my night. And that happens sometimes. I didn't fight very well, and I just didn't fight to my potential and show some of the things that we've been working on. I was back in the gym right after to get that taste out of my mouth. But I don't regret taking that fight.Like I said, I think it was a good matchup, the team thought it was a good matchup, and I thought it was a good timing to get one in before the end of the year. And obviously you wish for a different result. But I don't think it was a bad choice to take that fight.”

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The bout left Brundage at 2-1 for 2022, 2-2 since his UFC debut in 2021. Now he kicks off the new year this weekend against Vieira, a ground ace who the 28-year-old was very honest about when they were originally supposed to meet last fall. In other words, he knew – and knows – that the decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt can make him miserable in a split second if the fight goes to the mat.

Cody Brundage reacts after his knockout victory over Tresean Gore in their middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on July 09, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Cody Brundage reacts after his knockout victory over Tresean Gore in their middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on July 09, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


“Honestly, when that fight got canceled, I was pretty pissed off,” said Brundage. “Not anything that the guy can control. And I reached out to him afterwards, but it is a bummer. You put in a lot of time and effort and sacrifice and then the rug kind of gets pulled out from underneath you. But yeah, I know who he is and I've watched film. I've watched a lot less film this time around because I feel like I already know who he is. And it's a lot less built up in my head than it was the first time. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing; I can't really tell you that,, but I can tell you that that's just how it is. It's not as built up in my head, and I tend to think that's a good thing. But like I said, I don't know, maybe it's not.”

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Brundage laughs, and as one of the most honest competitors in the game, he refuses to build up anything beyond what happens on fight night, and when he does fall short of getting his hand raised, it’s not attached to excuses or even the old standby of “just not my night.”

“I never give myself that out of, ‘Oh, you just got caught,’” said Brundage. “I feel like sometimes that's nice to say that because it's like, ‘Okay, well this is all that happened.’ But then I feel like it's hard to get better and learn when you take that mentality. I've been really good my whole career at taking losses and dealing with losses. And I don't know if that's coming from a wrestling background, where you wrestle 40 times in a year and you might lose six or seven matches and you continue to wrestle that day. Most of the time in a tournament or two, you’ve got to wrestle two days later. There's not these huge layoffs in between. And the only way I've ever found to get over a loss or deal with a loss correctly, it's to just outwork it.”

Cody Brundage Secures Comeback Guillotine Win | UFC Fight Night Santos vs Ankalaev
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Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

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Cody Brundage Secures Comeback Guillotine Win | UFC Fight Night Santos vs Ankalaev
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So after putting the loss to Oleksiejczuk aside, Brundage got back to the gym, started with his wife Amanda to prepare for their daughter Kingsley to get a new sister this summer, and on Saturday, it’s time to fight.

“I try to be as honest as possible because I'm not one of these guys that's going to be like, ‘Yeah, I've never really lost; I only get some guys that got lucky on me,’” he said. “I have a different perspective in my life. I don't think fighting is the most important thing; I think being a really good dad and husband and teammate and son and friend, all of those things, in the long run, are more important than me being a world champion and fighting.”

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That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to win, though. That’s the most important thing once the gloves are on.

“When I say it's not the most important thing, that doesn't negate it,” said Brundage. “Yeah, there's definitely pressure, and I think pressure's a good thing, but I just don't think it should be overbearing pressure. I do this sport because I love it and I am very passionate. I feel like it's important to live a life where you chase your passions. I want my kids to know that. My wife knows that she's done it. A lot of people in my family, they were athletes at a high level and so they know it, as well. And that's kind of the environment I was brought up in. But I could stop fighting tomorrow and go do another job and provide for my family and be okay.”

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UFC Fight Night: Song vs Simon took place live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas on April 29, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass