The Ultimate Fighter
UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz dissects fighters inside and outside of the Octagon. Whether in a fight or as an analyst for FS1, Cruz is one of the most respected minds in the fight game.
“The Dominator” has been in championship form in the lead up to UFC 207 and his title defense against Cody Garbrandt in the co-main event Friday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Cruz has zeroed in on Garbrandt’s fight style, which has been the main storyline since this fight was announced. “No Love” is known for his crippling punching power, but Cruz believes that single strength makes the challenger one dimensional.
Garbrandt, an amateur boxer and former collegiate wrestler, maintains that his 10-0 record littered with knockouts is more a matter of circumstance than necessity.
“What man has made me open up my toolbox,” Garbrandt asked Cruz during a satellite interview on Wednesday.
Garbrandt hasn’t needed to fall back on his wrestling much during his red-hot tear through the bantamweight ranks. But should he need to resort to his wrestling, he’s prepared to do just that.
But Cruz, who later in the interview aggravated Garbrandt to the point that he stormed off set, isn’t convinced his foe is well rounded enough to hang with him.
Cruz has made his name by using fluid and perplexing movement, chain wrestling and unorthodox striking – a combination that has frustrated fighters in the bantamweight division for a decade.
“(Garbrandt has) only had to be one dimensional so far,” Cruz said. “That’s what I’m going to exploit, the fact that he has not seen the things he’s going to see against me. I mix things up, I go high-low, I mix in takedowns, I kick and punch, mix in takedowns and I wrestle and do jiu-jitsu.”
The trash talk has been fun, but the time has come to put down the microphones and strap on the four-ounce gloves. Cruz and Garbrandt is going to be the ultimate chess match as Cruz looks to continue his historic championship reign and dominance of the 135-pound division.
Matt Parrino is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MattParrinoUFC