Dominick Cruz’s winning streak over Team Alpha Male is over. Cody Garbrandt is the new UFC Bantamweight champion.
The 25 year old challenger fought a masterful five round classic to prove his critics wrong. No Love won by unanimous decision, with the scores of 48-47, 48-46 and 48-46.
Garbrandt had never gone past three rounds before and had gone beyond one round in only three of ten bouts. But instead of drowning in unchartered waters, No Love dominated Cruz in the final three rounds, knocking him down on several occassions. Said the new champion:
“I come from Team Alpha Male and that’s something they pride themselves on: world class cardio. That’s something I’ve always pride myself on…The pace that I set and push are something my adversaries won’t be able to keep up.”
Dominick Cruz had labeled Team Alpha Male as Alpha Fail because every member or former member of that gym who’s faced Cruz has lost to the Dominator. Well, that was until Cody Garbrandt came along.
There wasn’t anything wrong with Cruz or with how he fought. It was just that Garbrandt looked like he was one step ahead of the Dominator. Cruz agreed:
“They’re wrong. I was there. That was 100% me. I was healthy. I was everything I’ve always been in my eyes. Just I got caught in a couple of transitions. That’s how it is in this game. You’re swinging four ounce gloves. You get caught sometimes.”
Sometimes was an understatement. Garbrandt owned Cruz in the second half of the bout. Dom was more active, but Garbrandt was more effective.
According to Fightmetric, Cruz landed more total strikes at 95-71. He also connected on more significant strikes 88-68. But Garbrandt landed the more meaningful blows. He also scored one takedown and several knockdowns. The main difference was Garbrandt’s power for which Cruz didn’t have an answer.
— UFC (@ufc) December 31, 2016
For the fallen champion, it seemed like a bitter pill to swallow especially after all the trash talk. But during the post event press conference, Cruz took defeat like a man:
“Loss is part of life. If you don’t lose, you don’t grow. This isn’t tough. This is life….All I can say is that I lost and I’ll take my loss like a man.”
There were ugly words exchanged in the months leading up to the fight. But the two finally acknowledged each other after the fight. Cruz wished Garbrandt luck on his title reign and called him a man with a ‘good heart’. Garbrandt paid his respects to Cruz for his toughness and for being one of the best ever.
Garbrandt previously said he was willing to offer Cruz an immediate rematch. But after T.J. Dillashaw’s impressive victory over Jon Lineker earlier in the night, it appears that the rematch may have to wait. In fact, Cody issued a challenge to T.J during the post fight octagon interview:
Cruz himself agreed during the post event press conference, although he said he wasn’t out of it yet:
“T.J. wants next. I have no problem with that. The guy’s very good himself.”
A couple of days ago, Dillashaw bragged that he made Garbrandt cry during practice at Team Alpha Male. After seeing Garbrandt dominate the Dominator, it’s unlikely that Dillashaw’s going to easily do that if and when they fight.
So what do you think of a bout between Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw?