While Ronda Rousey is getting all the attention for UFC 207, Dominick Cruz vs Cody Garbrandt, promises to steal the show. Dominick Cruz will look to defend his bantamweight strap against a new foe and prove that he’s still a step ahead of the competition.
The UFC rankings have Cruz listed as the #3 pound-for-pound fighter, while Garbrandt is the #5 ranked bantamweight contender. Cody Garbrandt aims to be the first fighter to knock out the seemingly unhittable phenom known as “The Dominator.”
Cruz Redemption Year
It hasn’t received as much attention as some of the year’s other storylines, but the successful return of Dominick Cruz was one of the best things that happened to MMA in 2016. Cruz only ever “lost” his UFC bantamweight title through a series of injuries that shelved him for over 2 years.
Apart from that, he’s undefeated in the weight class, and looked better than ever in his last fight vs. Urijah Faber. Dominick will look to do something even Conor McGregor couldn’t do. That’s go the entire calendar year undefeated.
Cody Garbrandt Is Young and Dangerous
Cody Garbrandt is the real deal. His rise to fame was fast and furious. The best fighters rise through the ranks of the regional scene quickly — which Garbrandt did in almost exactly two years into his UFC career. All but one of his 10 career wins has come by KO or TKO. Garbrandt is a heavy-handed striker that has knocked out four of his five opponents in the UFC. His last two knockouts were his most impressive, as he blasted through Takeya Mizugaki and Thomas Almeida in devastating fashion.
Garbandt does a good job of jabbing on the outside to gauge the distance and draw the opponent’s eyes and hands out of position, and for the most part, he works his way into his preferred range slowly and methodically behind his active lead hand.
Styles Make Fights
Cruz relies heavily on his agility and striking game. Garbrandt is a volume striker with a boxing background and is going to spend much of the fight being the aggressor. The concern with Garbrandt is that he still has to prove he has the stamina to go the distance, as much of his fights are quick and painless.
The problem is that Cruz is extremely agile and is going to make it tough for Garbrandt to lineup a good shot. Also, Cruz has the advantage on the canvas and has proven time and time again that there’s plenty left in the tank once you get to the later rounds. With Garbrandt, I’m not sure, how he would react, after getting punched in the mouth.
Yes, Garbrandt is an excellent boxer , but he’s never been in the octagon with such a savvy veteran like Cruz. Look for Cruz to frustrate Garbrandt by the 3rd round and get a TKO victory and retain the bantamweight title.