A UFC champion and a boy with leukemia, in the fight of their
lives. Cody Garbrandt dreamed of being a UFC champion. In his
darkest moments, when those dreams were dashed, he dug deep with
the help of an unlikely friend-five-year-old Maddux Maple, a local
hometown fan with leukemia. They made a pact: Cody would be in the
UFC and win the championship, and Maddux would beat cancer. Read
their moving story in Cody's new book, The Pact, and go behind the
scenes into Cody's training and how he made his dreams come true.
Cody Garbrandt grew up in a rough town in the Central Appalachian
region of Ohio, surrounded by a longstanding culture of
fighting-and drugs. Raised in this environment by a single mom (his
dad left him at the young age of three to reside in the Ohio State
Penitentiary), Cody grew up fighting, and he grew up wild. His
future seemed predestined to end in the coal mines, or in prison.
Thankfully, Cody had visions of something more. His American Dream
Mixed Martial Arts. But a path to success wasn't clear. He spent as
much time fighting in the streets as he did in the gym-one bad
decision away from losing everything. Then, at age 20, Cody's
brother introduced him to five-year old Maddux Maple. Maddux was
deathly ill with leukemia, his survival by no means assured. A
unique friendship developed as they made a promise to each other:
Maddux would beat cancer, and Cody would make it to the UFC and
become world champion. Through five long years of pain and
hardship, they both persevered; Cody, through the agony and
sacrifices of fighting his way to the top, and Maddux through the
horrors of chemotherapy. They loved and supported each other. They
served as each other's inspiration. And in December 2016, they made
good on their pact: Cody won his UFC Championship belt, which he
promptly presented to Maddux-the boy who had beaten cancer into
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