Cody Land is still very early in his MMA career, but he is finding out first-hand that with success comes failures.
Not failures inside the cage, but failures in trying to secure future bouts.
Land (10-3) has won his last four fights, three via first round submission and another in the opening round by knockout.
However, Land finally was able to lock up an opponent for next month, as he will fight William Joplin on December 6 for Dynasty Combat Sports in Nebraska.
Earlier this year, Land was selected as an alternate for The Ultimate Fighter 18, just missing out on being selected for the show. Despite trying out, he hasn’t kept an eye on the action – though others have done so for him.
“To be completely blunt and honest, I haven’t watched the season since the first episode,” said Land, during an interview with FightLine. “That’s been due to my schedule and the fact that it’s frustrating to watch. I get phone calls and texts from family and friends complaining about the male fighter side of the show to me.
“It is crazy that two contestants haven’t made weight and frustrating because I almost was in those shoes. I obviously am not in their position and am not in any position to judge, but at the same time, I feel like in my heart I would show up, make weight and fight my ass off because of what’s at stake for the show.”
Land has been forced to take on a part-time job to keep up with bills after having several fighters agree to bouts – only to pull out soon after.
“I’m just taking my career one fight at a time,” he said. “I’m thankful for where I’m at and where I’m heading. I’m very grateful for my friends, roommates, family, sponsors and my gym, Premier Combat Center.
“My coaching staff (Kurt Podany, Danny Molina, Ryan Jensen, Jason Brilz) are great and I couldn’t ask for better teammates or coaches. I’m learning every day and fine-tuning.”
Since trying out for TUF, Land’s manager has kept in contact with the UFC. All 10 of his career wins have been stoppage victories, including nine via submission – eight of them of the armbar variety, meaning he would have been a perfect selection for UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey on the reality series.
“My manager has spoke with the UFC and they told him to keep me active and get cage time so that is what I’m trying to do,” Land said.
Recently, Land worked his Twitter and Facebook accounts to try and secure a bout in the World Series of Fighting opposite Cody Bollinger. Bollinger was a cast member on TUF, but did not make weight and was eliminated from the competition.
“I tried to use social media as a resource to see if I could get the Bollinger fight for WSOF, but they lined him up against someone else,” Land stated. “It’s frustrating, but that’s the name of the game I suppose.”
Land also knows that getting his name out of the Midwest and on other promotional shows is key, saying “I really don’t care if I’m fighting in front of 300 or 3,000 people; I would like to stay active and am enjoying the chase I guess, so to speak!”