Despite a body that has failed him many times, Dominick Cruz has overcome, and honed a frenetic, smart fighting style that has won him the championship belt more than once. Cody Garbrandt hits hard and hits fast. That’s enough for Garbrandt to be worthy of a shot at Cruz’s belt, and the heat between them is just the icing on the cake. That’s right, folks, it’s time for the UFC 207 co-main event. Buckle in.

Cruz wastes no time reverting to the hummingbird that flits about the cage, coming in and out from every angle and lashing out. But Garbrandt has done his homework, and his timing and footwork enable him to move out of the way of much of what Cruz throws while firing back and tagging him. To make things even more interesting, Garbrandt is openly mocking him with a nonstop barrage of insults, and before Round 1 is up he’s scrambled out of a Cruz takedown and taken the champ down himself.

They crack each other early in the second, and dance like lovers, and while the punches landed could be comparable, Garbrandt’s kicks are landing at a greater rate – could he be winning the war of attrition?

Round 3 has Garbrandt blasting Cruz again and again in the face, and with constant insults – and sequences where he just lowers his hands and relies on just head movement to dodge the champ’s flurries – it’s as if destiny is favoring the challenger.

We’re in the championship rounds, and before a minute has elapsed Garbrandt has dropped Cruz with a punch. Cruz gets back up and goes back to dancing, but holy crap, we’ve never seen him banged up like this before. Three more times Cruz goes down due to Garbrandt’s fists, and when the horn sounds you have to wonder if Cruz will even make it another round.

Garbrandt’s clowning is at the elite level, as he dances around the dancer, and even drops and does a push-up as the champ pursues him. In terms of aggression and output, it’s possible that Cruz takes the fifth round, but this is such a blowout that it probably doesn’t matter. The horn sounds and it goes to the judges.


Results: Cody Garbrandt def. Dominick Cruz via Unanimous Decision