LOS ANGELES (Circa) -- It's not really in Cody Garbrand't DNA to say too much about his personal life. In his career as an MMA fighter who's won UFC championship titles, his actions have spoken louder than words.
With his next project, he's letting words speak louder than actions. His new book, The Pact, is all about his unlikely friendship with Maddux Maple, a 5-year-old boy with Leukemia.
"He was 5.5 years old when I met him. We made this promise nearly 6 years ago that he would beat Leukemia, and I would make it to the UFC and become a world champion," said Gardrandt.
Lofty goals for two boys from tiny-town Uhricksville, Ohio, but not impossible.
Five years later, Garbrandt won the UFC Bantamweight Championship and Maddux's cancer had gone into remission.
"[He had] so many life-threatening battles and close calls in his life at an early age that it's so great to see him so full of life and so happy to share his battle and his fight," Garbrandt said.
Maddux is still doing well, but in 2017, a year after clinching it, Garbrandt lost his title to TJ Dillishaw.
"I learned a lot from the loss. You know, I'm a champion, and they make adjustments. So that's what I've been doing. I've just been making adjustments. Not only in my career, but in my life."
Cody is now preparing to take back his title from Dillashaw on Aug. 4 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
"Mind, body and soul—you have to be just so connected with yourself going in there knowing that anything can happen, you know, but having that positivity [that] you’re gonna come out of there with the win, with the W," Garbrandt said.
Right now, his main focus is winning the title back and being a new father.
"My focus is changing as many diapers as fast as I can," he says, laughing. "And feeding my son, and making sure he grows healthy and strong and just full of love. That's what I'm focused on, just being a good family man, being a good father."
Garbrandt's book, The Pact, is available everywhere books are sold.