The bad blood finally boiled over last night (Fri., Dec. 30, 2016) at UFC 207 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight king Dominick Cruz put his title on the line for the second time this year against surging knockout artist Cody Garbrandt. The co-main event bout was yet another extension of the ever-lasting feud between Cruz and Team Alpha Male.
It was all Garbrandt in the early going as he landed shots on Cruz on almost every inside exchange. Garbrandt seemed extremely comfortable as he showboated from the outside. Cruz would land a few nice shots towards the end of the first round, but “No Love” responded with a timely takedown. Both fighters landed big shots to begin Round 2 as Garbrandt seemed to absorb the most damage. Cruz would continue to attack from distance with awkward combinations and timely leg kicks, but Garbrandt started to find a home for his power punches. The two exchanged blows again inside as the frame came to a close. Garbrandt came out heavy in the third round, landed huge strikes and opened up a big cut around Cruz’s left eye. Cruz would attempt to recover before eating more shots that knocked him for a loop. As Cruz came forward, “No Love” landed even more, mixing in stiff jabs and a nasty knee inside as he continued to utilize excellent head movement to avoid every shot Cruz threw.
In Round 4, Garbrandt blasted Cruz again, sending the champion to the ground and pointing at him while smiling. Cruz regained himself and started to push the pace even more. No matter how much he threw, Garbrandt always seemed to be one step ahead, ducking and dodging every strike like his head was on a swivel. Towards the end of the frame, Garbrandt leveled the champion again, battered him with heavy shots and chased him around the cage. Down on the scorecards, Cruz came out desperate in the fifth and final round, landing a stiff combination that temporarily sent Garbrandt back on his feet. But it was too little too late. Garbrandt smashed his way to the unanimous decision win and his first UFC title.
The full fight video highlights can be seen above courtesy of UFC.
With this win, Garbrandt enters 2017 as one of the quickest rising stars in mixed martial arts (MMA). He just beat one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world decisively and remains undefeated at 11-0. Garbrandt’s power is clearly his biggest weapon, but he showed incredible discipline, footwork, head movement, takedown defense and big-time composure against the greatest bantamweight of all time.
For complete UFC 207 results and coverage click here.