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Cody Gibson weighs in during the UFC 178 weigh-in at the MGM Grand Conference Center on September 26, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
The Ultimate Fighter

Meet Bantamweight Cody Gibson | The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs Team Chandler

Get To Know Gibson And The Rest Of The Season 31 Cast On ESPN And ESPN+

Cody Gibson is just one of many hopefuls looking to make a name for themselves on the most epic season of The Ultimate Fighter yet. With legendary coaches Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler on opposite sides of the Octagon, the stakes have never been higher. Let’s meet the Bantamweights and Lightweights that make up the season 31 cast.

Catch Up On All Things The Ultimate Fighter


UFC Record: 1-3

Birthplace: Blackwell, Oklahoma

Fighting Out Of: The Pit in Slow County, California

Age: 35

Quick Stat: Fought Aljamain Sterling and Manny Gamburyan

Cody Gibson steps on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at the AT&T Center on June 27, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC)
Cody Gibson steps on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at the AT&T Center on June 27, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC)

What does it feel like to be a part of The Ultimate Fighter season 31?

To me it’s kinda full circle, I was almost on The Ultimate Fighter, it was the season Chris Holdsworth won. I went to the tryouts, they kept me for another week to do all my medicals, anticipating being on the show, and they sent us home. Me and some of the other fighters realized at medicals there’s a few more of us than there is going to be on the show. So, some of us kinda anticipated being alternates. Sure enough, I got a text three weeks later that said, ‘You’re not going to make it on the show’ and I was bummed. That was before I even had my first UFC stint. For me, having my UFC stint, the eight years since then and all the fights I’ve had since then, it’s just full circle for me. Here I am.

What have you learned about yourself since your first stint and how has all of that experience shaped you for this moment?

The real confidence you can have. Everyone tries to be confident, especially in this environment. But to really have it in here and know what you have, that took a lot of development. I didn’t have that in the UFC eight years ago, I was in my mid 20s and didn’t come from a big gym at the time with a lot of fighters. I remember watching Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s strength and conditioning videos and then trying to replicate it in an empty gym because that was strength and conditioning back then; there were no coaches. It’s been a wild ride I’ve been fighting for 15 going on 16 years, so this is kind of a fun way to hopefully ride off into the sunset with a few stacks of bills.

Before The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs Team Chandler Preview Show

What was your reaction when you heard Michael Chandler and Conor McGregor were going to be the coaches this season?

The exposure. Conor talks about whoever gets to fight him it’s a big opportunity because you’re going to make a lot more money in pay-per-view sales. By extension, you can include The Ultimate Fighter in that. Like it or not, love him or hate him, the guy puts asses in seats and eyeballs on him. The fact that it’s going to be on ESPN and the streaming service will bring a lot more eyes to the show and the fact that they’re bringing back veterans is the best way to challenge a prospect. I think it’s going to make for an interesting season, for sure.

What would you learn from Michael Chandler?

He has a similar background as I do. Coming up from wrestling, I'm sure his practices will be hard; if they’re anything like any wrestling practice. We have very different styles; he’s very explosive, that fast twitch muscle. I’ve always considered myself to be a marathon runner just trying to drown you with volume and pressure. I know I can go for a very long time with volume and pace. So, I'm sure there’s things I can learn from him and his team; it depends on what coaches he brings out here. But he trains at one of the best gyms in the country. I'm always picking things up from people, whether it be a world champion or a random person that has something they want to offer. I’ll take the advice, whether I want to utilize it or not or throw it away, I'm sure I’ll learn a lot, no matter who my coach is. 

What would you learn from Conor McGregor?

I think most fighters have tried to replicate Conor’s style to some degree in the gym and in shadow boxing. They way this guy moves isn’t like a lot of guys move; he has that taekwondo, in and out darting motion style, and I'm sure there’s lots of things you can pick up from him. I even think his jiu-jitsu is underrated. Obviously, if you fight Khabib, he’s showing to be pretty crafty on the ground, too. I think his movement, his mentality, there’s a lot of things you can take from either coach.

Get To Know Bantamweight Cody Gibson | The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs Team Chandler
Get To Know Bantamweight Cody Gibson | The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs Team Chandler

What do you think is going to be your toughest challenge in making it to the end?

Honestly, this is a blessing. I work full-time, I wake up at 4:00 AM and go to the gym and I go to the gym after work, so I’ve got two full-time jobs. I got two kids and a wife; my life is busy! Here, all I got to do is train? I don’t care if some guy annoys me in the house, it doesn’t bother me, that’s nothing, this is easy. I just have to focus on training all-day. I’ve never done that before. Yeah, I’ll miss my kids and I’ll miss my wife, that will probably be the hardest part for me. A lot of this is just noise and, at the end of the day. it all happens in [the Octagon], so that’s all that matters.

Why are you going to be the winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 31?

I just think I'm tougher than everybody else. At the end of the day, I have almost 30 pro fights and have never been finished with a knockout, so I got a chin on me. I’ve got the mentality, I'm really strong, I can fight through adversity, I'm not saying it’s going to be easy; I'm not saying it’s a gimme, but no one is going to get me out of there easily. I like my odds.