As one of the weakest divisions in mixed martial arts (MMA) today, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight class could use some extra publicity heading into the final quarter of 2016. That's why the ongoing public exchanges between current 135-pound champion Dominick Cruz and undefeated knockout artist Cody Garbrandt are so darn exciting.
Remember, Garbrandt has already made it clear that he thinks he can flatten "The Dominator" inside of the Octagon. In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, the Team Alpha Male (TAM) striker continued his verbal assault of Cruz as he attempts to lock down a title shot sometime in the near future.
"He said he's going to add to my concussion list," said Garbrandt in regards to Cruz's recent interview with MMA Junkie. "That says to me like he's going to try to go in there and kill me. He wants to do that, so I'm definitely going to make him eat every one of his words. He's going to be eating through a straw for a couple of months after we fight."
Despite being ranked No. 8 in the Bantamweight division and trailing the likes of former champion T.J. Dillashaw, veteran Bryan Caraway and powerhouse John Lineker, the 25-year-old Garbrandt believes he could be in line for a shot at Cruz's illustrious belt if he defeats Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 202 on Aug. 20.
"(Cruz) got a title shot after beating Takeya, so why don't I?" added Garbrandt. "I have had two straight first-round knockouts. I'm undefeated. I'm an exciting fighter. I'm the most talked about fighter in my division. I think that fight between me and Dominick stylistically is what people want to see. He knows that. ... It's hard to deny me. I'm going in there and knocking guys out and calling my shot and calling what round I'm knocking them out."
"He knows I'm the fight. I'm the most marketable fighter. I'm the fighter that everyone's talking about in the division. I bring a lot to the table. He knows I'm a huge threat. He's not dumb."
If Garbrandt is able to successfully lobby a championship matchup with one of the most elusive strikers in all of MMA, he'll extend the bad blood shared between Cruz and TAM.
UFC 202 will be headlined by a rematch between Nate Diaz and UFC Featherweight champion Conor McGregor.
Stick with Mania as more UFC 202 news and coverage trickles in.