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Cody Stamann breaks down after emotional victory

UFC 250, but he showed little pleasure or sense of contentment. “data-reactid =” 16 “> LAS VEGAS – Cody Stamann̵

7;s eyes said it all. He did remarkably well to compose himself and gather his thoughts considering what was going on in his life. He had just defeated Brian Kelleher in an impressive performance at UFC 250, but he showed little joy or pleasure.

unexpectedly died in Michigan. Cody mulled and withdrew from the fight, but he just felt that his brother, an elite wrestler, wanted him to compete. “Data-reactid =” 17 “> On May 27, his 18-year-old brother, Jacob, died unexpectedly in Michigan. Cody mulled to withdraw from the fight, but he just felt that his brother, an elite wrestler, would have, that he should compete.

Stamann now lives in Las Vegas and was unable to embrace his mother and father. He was unable to mourn his surviving siblings. He couldn’t sleep. He couldn’t do much other than wonder why this would happen.

His brother had started to walk a wrong path. Jacob was a natural, and things came so easily to him that he had begun to take shortcuts, Stamann said. However, no one in the family knew the extent of the problem. Officials have still not released a cause of death.

coronavirus pandemic, he couldn’t do it. “data-reactid =” 20 “> Jacob had planned to fly to Las Vegas and spend time with Cody, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, he couldn’t do it.

“You just wonder if he was here with me as he should be, could I have done something or would things have been different?” he said.

He sighed, staring at the floor. He was used emotionally, his insides torn apart. He spent a sleepless night on Friday thinking about his brother and was miserable most of the day Saturday.

He fought against Kelleher, a hot opponent who fought for the third time in 2020 and finished with each of his last two matches. But his thoughts all day were not on the fight, but on Jacob and his family.

“I just said to myself,” I’m going to do this. I have to do this, ”he said after winning 30-27 on all three judges’ scorecards. “I had to give my family something different to think it was positive and good. I couldn’t be there for them. I couldn’t be there for my mother. I couldn’t be there for my dad. I couldn’t be there with my brother and my sister. I was not there for anyone, so I felt that was what I needed to do for them now.

“When I made it about something bigger than myself, it helped and made it easier for me to do.”

Cody Stamman responds after the end of his featherweight match against Brian Kelleher during UFC 250 at the UFC Apex on June 6, 2020 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jeff Bottari / Zuffa LLC)

It became infinitely easier when the bell rang. Fighting is what he loves, what he stands out for. He is ranked No. 12 in the UFC’s bantamweight division and is now 5-1-1 in the UFC. He is 19-2-1 overall and could beat the top 10.

He looked like he might break down as he walked to the cage. He was on the verge of tearing up when ring announcer Bruce Buffer announced the verdict. But he was at peace for 15 minutes, the only peace he has had in the last 10 days.

“I knew that somehow I was just going to get to the fight,” Stamann said. “Once you get into the fight, you feel nothing. You can’t think of anything. There’s a guy in front of you and he’s trying to hurt you. It is the most surreal form of meditation there is. You don’t think about your electricity bill or your house payment or anything like that, while there’s a guy standing in your face trying to hit you.

“In the fight, I didn’t think about it. I had a job to do. But before and obviously now, after, it’s pretty hard. There really are no words to express unless you have been in this situation. “

He made an effort to talk about his brother and let people know what kind of person Jacob was in life. It was difficult, and the last thing Stamann would do was talk to a number of strangers about his most intimate feelings.

It is always hard to lose a family member, but when it is a teenager who is talented and has a lot of opportunities ahead, the feeling of loss is multiplied.

“He was a good boy, man,” Stamann said. “He was a talented boy. Like so many young, uber talented, winning kids, they have two options: For me, I was so gifted athletically and things came so easily to me, I didn’t have to work as hard as everyone else. I started to walk down the same path that he wound up by going down, but fighting kind of saved me.

“We thought it was just a phase and he wanted to get out of it. But he tried something that a million children try, and it just so happened that when he tried it, it was fatal to him. As a brother, I feel I should be there to protect. And he should be here in Las Vegas. It’s just so hard to understand. “

Stamann will return to Michigan, but this will not be something he easily leaves behind.

“When it first happened, I was an absolute mess,” he said. “I was devastated. After a while I got a little better, but when the fight came and I thought of him, it’s been tough. So much happens. I tore my back a little, and I’m even tearing up now. This is one of those things, there is no answer and no way to explain. “

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