Entering UFC 207, 25-year-old Cody "No Love" Garbrandt had only ten professional fights. Detractors criticized his resume by saying the UFC was gifting him a bantamweight championship fight with Dominick Cruz prematurely.
How could a fighter with only ten fights and four years of professional experience possibly beat Cruz? Team Alpha Male founder Urijah Faber is the answer.
Garbrandt proved many in the MMA community wrong by defetaing Dominick Cruz for the UFC bantamweight title, and Faber played a major role in the victory. Urijah Faber is the only other fighter to defeat Cruz, and that experience is invaluable for a young fighter like Garbrandt.
Cody's confidence never wavered.
Faber and other Team Alpha Male fighters have lost to Cruz over the years, which allowed Garbrandt to put together a gameplan from their successes and failures.
That is why despite having just eleven fights, including his title victory over Cruz, Garbrandt possesses the maturity and experience of someone much older.
On the upcoming The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption, Garbrandt is coaching against former Team Alpha Male and future opponent T.J. Dillashaw. 'No Love' explained the importance of having Urijah Faber and other coaches in his corner during the show's media day.
"I bring in the best coaches. I mean, the proof is in the pudding, I'm the world champion," said Garbrandt. "I have my uncle who's been my boxing trainer since I was a young teen. I have Justin Buchholz, Danny Castillo, Fabio Prado, Urijah Faber; bringing in so much experience that's helped me out."
That same experience is what he believes will help him retain his title in his upcoming match up with Dillashaw.
"I know I'll knock out T.J., 100% I'll knock out T.J. [Dillashaw]... My team has helped me become a complete martial artist. I don't feel I have to go out there and knock T.J. out to become this mega-superstar. I'm here to be the best that I can be, I want to be a future Hall of Famer.
Urijah Faber would probably rather have "UFC Champion" on his resume, but gaining experience through countless title losses and using that knowledge to propel a young superstar isn't a bad consolation prize.