Champ to Champ: A look at Cody Garbrandt and Mike Tyson


Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt shocked the world at UFC 207, the night he defeated Dominick Cruz as an underdog to capture the UFC Bantamweight Championship of the world. ‘No Love’ defeated ‘The Dominator’ via unanimous decision and in the process improved his professional MMA record to 11-0.

With his win, ‘No Love’ fulfilled a promise to career-long inspiration Maddux Maple, made millions of new fans, clowned the once untouchable Dominick Cruz on the grand stage, set himself up for big money fights inside the octagon, and he even impressed boxing legend Mike Tyson so much that ‘Iron’ requested to meet Garbrandt in person:

I always wanted to meet @miketyson thanks for inviting me up! 💯

A post shared by Cody Garbrandt (@cody_nolove) on

Both Garbrandt and Tyson managed to capture championships in their respective combat sports as undefeated professionals, but there are a few other things ‘No Love’ and ‘Iron’ Mike have in common.


It’s well known Tyson didn’t have a real father figure in his life and the same can be said about ‘No Love.’ His father was a heavy drug user — who found himself behind bars for most of Cody’s life.

As Danny Acosta of wrote last May:

In Uhrichsville, Ohio, Garbrandt fought fiercely to survive. He battled to defend his name and family as one of the have nots. He started boxing with his uncle at 4 years old. He was the kid teachers went out of their way to declare had no future. The second oldest among four brothers and three sisters, he grew up fighting. It was literally a competition: Who gets to eat? In that way, he is a born fighter.

“You can go back to any of my teachers, from first grade all the way up to my senior year: ‘Cody was always fighting.’ Doesn’t matter who it was — coaches, people in the stands, whatever,” Garbrandt said. “They looked at me like a troublemaker, but I just wasn’t going to take anyone’s s—.” Garbrandt’s biological father was never in his life, a drug addict who was willing to chase any high. To this day, the habit has him locked up.

Early Training

Garbrandt was also taken in as a protégé of a former professional boxer, his uncle, at a young age.

Tyson was taken in by legendary boxing manager/trainer Cus D’Amato after Mike’s mother passed away when he was just 16 years old.


Both men have unique tattoos, what exactly do they mean?

The Power

Even though Cody Garbrandt is only 135-pounds, the 25-year-old has finished roughly 82 percent of his fights by either Knockout or TKO. Even the UFC acknowledged that his size didn’t matter this week — ranking him #5 pound-for-pound, beating out other UFC champs on the list. ‘No Love’ in his first title win was ranked above Amanda Nunes, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Stipe Miocic, Max Holloway, Tyron Woodley, and even Michael Bisping on the P4P list.

Garbrandt’s coach, Justin Buchholz, appeared on Brian Stann’s podcast “Toe-2-Toe” to talk about Cody’s fight mentality:

“This guy’s from the streets of Uhrichsville, Ohio. This guy has been stabbed, he’s had teeth in his knuckles, as a teenager he’s had to fight grown ass men. That’s a Mike Tyson mentality that Cody has. Mentally, he lives off that stuff. He gets hyped up. He’s like, ‘Oh you’re talking s**t? You talking crap about my friends? Let’s meet behind the school at the flagpole. You bring your friends, I’ll bring mine. It’s a fight.’”

Mike Tyson’s Highlight Reel needs no introduction:

**Don’t forget to read about Maddux Maple’s story here. Maddux was the cancer survivor ‘No Love’ gave his heart and Bantamweight Championship Belt to after his victory over Dominick Cruz at UFC 207. **