Former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt has opened up on his battle with his inner demons following his loss to Rob Font.
Garbrandt (12-4) suffered defeat at the hands of Font (19-4) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 188 but showed plenty of heart despite a unanimous decision going against him at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
The California native managed to make it to the end of the fifth round but was well beaten, with the judges scoring it 48-47, 50-45 and 50-45 in favour of Font.
Font showed why he must now be considered a top contender at 135 pounds with a performance punctuated by a barrage of punches and at times an iron chin.
Despite his age, the 33-year-old has a bright future ahead of him and earned praise from 'No Love' himself for his dominant victory.
Speaking for the first time since Saturday's loss, Garbrandt admitted he must now go away with his team and have a re-think, having not been able to match Font's aggressive forward movement.
"Rob was the better man," Garbrandt said during a fan Q&A on Instagram. "I felt like I was fighting myself in there, battling myself. I’m not taking anything away from him. Congrats [sic] to his camp, congrats [sic] to him."
Garbrandt's struggles again raised questions about his decision to split his training camps between Team Alpha Male and Ricardo Almeida BJJ - especially after Font picked him apart in the stand-up for the best part of five rounds - but Garbrandt dismissed those concerns.
"A lot of positive[s] come from this," he said, pointing to his brief success before the end of the fifth round. "Brush it off. Get back with my coaches and teammates and we’re still striving to be the best, to be world champion.
"Sometimes there’s adversity that comes along in your dreams and makes you work harder and makes you realize what needs to be done and it makes it that much sweeter when you climb up the mountain.
"It wasn’t my night, but man I enjoy this. I’ll correct my mistakes and just really thankful. I fight my heart out for you guys."News Now - Sport News