Cody Garbrandt was supposed to struggle against Dominick Cruz last night (Fri., Dec. 30, 2016) at UFC 207 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. After all, Cruz had bewildered the very best at 135 pounds en route to reclaiming the title earlier this year and defending it this past June. While Garbrandt had the power to slow Cruz down, many believed "No Love" wouldn't be able to handle the shifty footwork, unorthodox combinations and sensational timing of the champ. To much surprise, Garbrandt was the one seen dodging strikes, landing his counters, dictating the pace of the fight and doing enough to leave UFC 207 as the new bantamweight champion (full highlights here).
"I was really just curious to see his speed, his angles," said Garbrandt during the UFC 207 post-fight press conference. "Everyone believed the hype of him being ... he's The Matrix, he's a ghost in there. He's great. I'm not taking nothing away from him, but I was almost in shock he was as slow as he was in his movements and his angles weren't there."
It's not like Cruz didn't land any shots. He just wasn't able to outpace Garbrandt like he had done so many times before. The moment that "No Love" sees as the turning point of the bout was when he opened Cruz up in the early going.
"That's when it changed right there," added Garbrandt. "He didn't like that blood running down his face. That's when I said, ‘Dominick, are you having fun yet?' And he didn't answer me. In the first and second round, he would answer me back each time. That's right then, I knew that he wasn't having fun in the fight."
Like no other challenger before him, Garbrandt was able to get inside of Cruz's head during the fight. After dodging countless combinations from the champion, "No Love" began to dance, mocking Cruz at every possible turn.
"I was just living in the moment," said Garbrandt. "I was just having fun out there and enjoying it. It was a great fight. I had so much fun in there. He's a great sh*t talker. He knows a lot of good words. He speaks well. Sh*t, I couldn't read until I was in the third grade. I barely graduated high school. I knew what I was getting into with him. I knew I couldn't let his words and his trash talk get me emotional in there."
For complete UFC 207 results and coverage click here.