• Drew Pierce

Cody Brundage will see ‘biggest opportunity’ of his career in Dana White’s Contender Series

Photo: The Chapman Show

On Tuesday, Light Heavyweight Cody Brundage will fight for his dream of being a UFC fighter, facing off against William Knight in Dana White’s Contender Series.

As a newcomer to the fight scene, Brundage is already entering bouts that could be career changers for him should he do well.

“This is definitely the biggest opportunity of my career,” Brundage said. “I haven’t been fighting a very long time, so it’s exciting to get this opportunity so new into my pro career. A lot of people fight years and years before they get their shot. I’m getting that earlier the most and I think that is a testament to my hard work.”

Brundage started his professional career just 17 months ago and amassed a 5-0 record in that time. The majority of his time has been spent with Michigan’s biggest promotion, Lights Out Championship. Brundage even achieves the title of both the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight champion while with LOC.

Although he’s only had five professional fights in his career, his time in LOC has allowed him to test his cardio and his ability to handle adversity.

“The biggest thing from competing over a couple five round fights is just knowing that I can go the distance,” Brundage said. “It doesn’t have to be a finish. It doesn’t even have to be pretty, but I can get the job done.”

Since his last fight in February, Brundage has used his time in quarantine to work on every aspect of his game.

“I try to fight every two months and I try to stay active,” Brundage said. “I’ve been fortunate. My game has gotten so much better because all I have been doing is focusing on every aspect [of my game].”

Brundage has just recently gone through one of the biggest changes of his career. He made a life changing move to Colorado in order to join Factory X, a high-level Muay Thai gym that boasts such talents as Anthony Smith and Josh Fremd.

This move has become instrumental in Brundage’s evolution as a fighter.

“It’s a different culture,” Brundage said. “They are trying to produce world champs. Everyone has the same path to fight at the highest organization. There are no days off.”

Brundage is confident that these major changes will give him the opportunity to hone his skills and become the best fighter he can be. One way he capitalizes on his potential is by turning nervous energy into adrenaline and focus.

For many fighters, nerves can get the best of them, but this is something that Brundage embraces every time fight day rolls around.

“There’s definitely nerves,” Brundage said. “I’m a nervous fighter. That’s always a good thing for me. You’re looking at changing your life and providing for yourself and your family in a career path that isn’t easy to make it.”

This nervous energy backed up with results in the cage makes Brundage a marketable figure, an important quality for any UFC fighter.

“I think I’m marketable,” Brundage said. “I’m an exciting fighter. I kind of expected it and I worked for it. It was a great feeling that my hard work paid off. I’m not happy just being part of the show. The goal is to get the contract and change my life.”

Although Brundage is confident in his abilities as a fighter, so is Knight. In fact, Knight has been in this spot before. On the previous season of Dana White’s Contender Series, Knight was signed to a UFC development deal. Now, he is back and ready to cash in on that opportunity.

Although it will come down to what happens in the Octagon on fight night, Knight has an edge as he has been in this spotlight before.

“It is definitely an advantage for him to be under that pressure before,” “This is not just another fight. You need to compete at your best always…but it’s a different feel. There’s a different pressure. He’s felt that.”

Because of this advantage, Brundage says that this will be a win-win situation no matter the outcome. If he wins, he will have taken down a highly touted favorite. If he loses, he gets priceless exposure to the UFC matchmakers.

“This is my first fight that I’m going into the fight as an underdog,” Brundage said. “It’s a balance. There’s pressure of fighting a guy who has been there and done it, but there’s also a huge reward to go out there and beat that guy.”

Dana White’s Contender Series will air on Tuesday as Brundage will try to handle the pressure and make his dreams of getting into the UFC a reality.

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2021 by "The Fightlete Report"