Cody Stamann breaks down after emotional win at UFC 250 following the sudden death of his brother

LAS VEGAS — Cody Stamann’s eyes said everything. He did surprisingly well to pull it together and gather his thoughts given what has been going on in his life. He’d just defeated Brian Kelleher in an amazing presentation at UFC 250, but he indicated little delight or feeling of satisfaction.

On May 27, his 18-year-old brother, Jacob, unexpectedly kicked the bucket in Michigan. Cody pondered pulling out of the bout, but he just felt his brother, an elite wrestler, would want him to compete.

Stamann now lives in Las Vegas and wasn’t ready to embrace his mother and father. He wasn’t ready to lament with his enduring kin. He couldn’t rest. He couldn’t do a lot of anything but wonder why this would occur.

His brother had started to go down an off-base path. Jacob was a natural and things came so effectively to him that he’d started to take shortcuts, Stamann said. Nobody in the family knew the extent of the issue, though. Authorities still haven’t discharged a reason for death.

Jacob had wanted to travel to Las Vegas and invest energy with Cody, but in view of the coronavirus pandemic, he couldn’t do it.

“You just marvel, on the off chance that he were here with me like he should be, might I be able to have accomplished something or would things have been different?” he said.

He moaned and stared at the floor. He was emotionally spent, his inner parts torn apart. He spent a restless night on Friday thinking about his brother, and was hopeless for most of the day Saturday.

He was fighting Kelleher, a hot opponent who was fighting for the third time in 2020 and had completed every one of his last two bouts. But his thoughts throughout the day were not on the fight but on Jacob and his family.

“I just kept saying to myself, ‘I need to do this. I need to do this,'” he said after winning 30-27 on every one of the three appointed authorities’ scorecards. “I needed to give my family something else to think about that was positive and acceptable. I couldn’t be there for them. I couldn’t be there for my mother. I couldn’t be there for my father. I couldn’t be there with my brother and my sister. I wasn’t there for anybody, so I felt this is what I needed to accomplish for them now.

“At the point when I made it about something greater than myself, that helped and made it simpler for me to do.”


It turned out to be infinitely simpler once the chime sounded. Fighting is what he cherishes, what he exceeds expectations at. He’s positioned No. 12 in the UFC’s bantamweight division and is now 5-1-1 in the UFC. He’s 19-2-1 in general and could break the top 10.

He seemed as though he may separate as he strolled to the pen. He was very nearly tearing up as ring commentator Bruce Buffer reported the verdict. But he found a sense of contentment for 15 minutes, the main harmony he’s had in the last 10 days.

“I realized that some way or another, I just needed to get to the fight,” Stamann said. “When you get into the fight, you don’t feel anything. You can’t think of anything. There’s a person standing in front of you and he’s trying to hurt you. It’s the most dreamlike type of meditation there is. You’re not thinking of your electric bill or your home payment or anything like that while there’s a person standing in your face trying to hit you.

“In the fight, I didn’t think about it. I had a vocation to do. But previously and clearly now, after, it’s pretty difficult. There truly aren’t words to communicate except if you’ve been in this situation.”

He put forth the attempt to talk about his brother, to let individuals know the type of individual Jacob was throughout everyday life. It was difficult, and the last thing that Stamann wanted to do was talk to a progression of strangers about his most intimate emotions.

Losing a family part is consistently difficult, but when it’s a teenager who was talented and had a wide scope of options in front of him, the feeling of misfortune multiplies.

“He was a decent child, man,” Stamann said. “He was a talented child. Like such huge numbers of youthful, uber-talented, winning children, they have two options: For me, I was so gifted athletically and things came so natural to me, I didn’t need to function as hard as every other person. I started to go down a similar path that he ended up going down, but fighting sort of spared me.

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