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Manager on Cody Garbrandt: ‘He’s got to go back to the Dominick Cruz era’

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“He’s got to go back to the Dominick Cruz era, when he was having fun, when he was enjoying it, when he was embracing it.”

UFC 217: Garbrandt v Dillashaw Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

After a string of knockout losses, former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt is taking a much-needed break from MMA.

The heavy-hitting knockout artist is currently reassessing his future and, according to manager Ali Abdelaziz, ‘No Love’ needs to re-embrace the fighting style he used to defeat Dominick Cruz at UFC 207 — arguably his greatest win to date.

“At the end of the day, when you get knocked out like that, I don’t think you should be fighting [without taking some time off],” Abdelaziz said of Cody Garbrandt (transcript via MMA Fighting). “The UFC is doing their job, they’re going to Sacramento, they offered Cody a main event spot — and this is the right thing to do for the UFC, but it’s our job to be like, ‘You know what, guys? We’re going to go back [and take some time].’ Cody’s been having problems with his hand. Especially getting knocked out like that, I think your brain needs a break.

“But in a way he’s too much of a fighter,” he said. “When you touch this kid, punch him, he wants to come and kill you, right? He’s too much of a fighter and I think he needs to get himself right, physically and mentally. And I think we’re going to see a lot of changes coming up, the way he’s going to fight. He’s got to go back to the Dominick Cruz era, when he was having fun, when he was enjoying it, when he was embracing it.”

Abdelaziz also said Garbrandt, who suffered back-to-back knockout losses to ex-teammate turned arch rival T.J. Dillashaw, will return to the Octagon with a new-and-improved mentality and focus.

“I think it’s more mental for Cody than anything else, than skill level. Cody has unbelievable jiu-jitsu, he has unbelievable grappling, unbelievable wrestling. But we don’t see it, right? You will see Cody come again, but he’s going to come right.”

Given that Garbrandt is taking some time off and making major changes to his training regime, don’t expect to see the 27-year-old back in the Octagon anytime soon.