Following a first-round submission victory over Erick Lozano at Lights Out Championship 2 in February, middleweight Cody Brundage was looking forward to continuing his momentum in 2020 when the novel coronavirus put those plans on hold.
Having previously been very active in his career prior to the coronavirus lockdown, the whole situation was something of an adjustment for Brundage.
“I stayed super active in my career, so it was odd to be sidelined for seven months now,” Brundage told MMAWeekly.com. “I have only been a pro for a year and a half, and I’ve fought five times with this seven-month layoff included, so wanting to stay active got thrown out of whack with coronavirus.”
If anything good did come out of the lockdown, Brundage was able to acclimate to his new gym and focus on developing his game rather than having to train for a specific opponent.
“Ten weeks ago, me, my wife, and my buddy Collin Anglin all moved out to Factory X in Colorado,” said Brundage. “That definitely led to changes in my game. I’m learning new things, picking up new things from my training partners and coach, Mark Montoya.
“I’ve only been in this sport for under three years, so I have a lot to learn. I’m still figuring out what I want to add, what I want to keep, and what I never want to do. I’ve changed a lot in the last seven months for sure.”
On Tuesday in Las Vegas, Brundage (5-0) will look to step up to the next level when he faces William Knight (7-1) in a light heavyweight bout at Dana White’s Contender Series 2020: Week 5.
“At his core he’s a wrestler, which I’ve been doing since I was eight years old,” Brundage said of Knight. “I’m always confident going into fights where the guy’s game plan is to do what I do to people, because typically I’m better at it.
“I’ve just got to go out and be me. There’s nothing I really need to force too much. There’s no area that he’s so much better at that I need to avoid. If I just go out there and be myself, do what I’m good at, and trust the process of all the work we put in, I’ll come away with a victory.”
Fighting on the Contender Series presents a situation where Brundage feels like he has to both live in the moment, while at the same time being mindful of what a win on Sept. 1 could mean for his career.
“At Contenders, I think it’s easy for people to come outside themselves because they think they have to do something crazy to get a contract,” said Brundage. “I’ve seen it all the time. It’s definitely best to stay focused on the fight and the rest will come.
“You’re fighting to get a contract, provide for your family, and live a life where you can be financially safe if you make it, so the contract definitely plays a part. I think the key is knowing that it’s there, but not letting it dictate the performance.”
(Video courtesy of FightFILMS)