UFC 250: What is Motivating Cody Stamann? Brian Kelleher Responds

Emotions can get the best of a fighter when they enter the octagon. Whether it is nerves, resentment of another fighter, or outside issues, one small thing can affect the game plan of a fighter. Cody Stamann is looking to use his negative into something useful this Saturday, June 6 at UFC 250.

Stamann will be facing off against Brian Kelleher inside the UFC’s APEX Center. While it will be important to think about, weight cutting or even his opponent won’t be on his mind. Jacob, his 18-year-old brother, died last week unexpectedly. It would be completely understandable if he decided not to compete. Stamann, however, wants to.

“People were like, ‘Hey, if you want to postpone this, wait a little longer, that’s 100 percent understandable,’” Stamann stated to MMA Junkie. “I just thought what most people think, I think, in those situations. What would the person that passed, what would they want me to do? And I can say without a shadow of a doubt he would want me to compete. He loved watching me compete, and I know that’s what he would want.”

Stamann (18-2-1) was supposed to see his brother sooner, but because of the coronavirus pandemic travel was not possible. His mom didn’t want to risk anything. They talked about seeing each other soon, but it wasn’t meant to be. The Michigan-born Stamann had to dig deep down to find the right words to say. His family is planning to start a foundation in his brother’s name, one that will benefit the troubled youth of West Michigan as well as young wrestling programs.

Stamann also knows he needs to get focused on his next fight. The bantamweight last fought in December, fighting Song Yadong to a majority decision draw. He is 1-1-1 in his last three fights, beating Alejandro Perez and losing to Aljamain Sterling. With all that has gone on in 2020, all he can do is put on a brave face.

“If the last two months have taught us anything, society, you never know what’s going to happen, nothing is promised, you never know what the hell is going to happen,” Stamann went on to say. “Yeah, I mean, it’s devastating, but I still have a job to do, still have to keep my head in a good place and do anything I can to honor him by being the best man I can be now. Death is permanent; it’s over. So now it’s on me to live my life better for him.”

Set to face Stamann is Brian Kelleher, who is on a two-fight win streak. Kelleher (21-10) just recently competed, knocking out Hunter Azure on May 13. “Boom” reached out to Stamann on social media, offering his support.

“I heard the terrible news about my opponents brother and I know we gotta go to battle Saturday but I offer my condolences to you and prayers to you and your family.”

The wrestler in Stamann will be ready to go to war on Saturday night. “Spartan” will be there, but it will be the human side of Stamann that will be displayed for all to see. Sad, angry, motivated, and ready to go, Stamann will give it all he has, for himself and his brother.

“My heart is absolutely broken,” Stamann said. “I don’t even know. There’s no words; there’s nothing I can say that makes it any better. But my mind is sharp. That kid loved watching me fight. He’s gotta be one of my biggest fans. I’m focused on the fight. This isn’t taking away the focus or anything. It’s fuel for the fire. So I’m looking forward to being the best version of myself Saturday night.”

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