The end of the year is creeping up on us faster than Usain Bolt and what a way to end 2016 than with UFC 207. The event is taking place this New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas, Nevada. Cody 'No Love' Garbrandt is finally getting a well-deserved World Bantamweight Title shot against champion Dominick Cruz in the pay-per-view’s co-main event.
Pro MMA Record: 10-0
Championships: ABA Junior Boxing Champion, B Class Sports Center Champion
Biggest PPV: UFC 202: Diaz vs. McGregor (1,650,000 buys)
Team: Team Alpha Male
Amateur Background: Senior National All-American, 32-1 amateur boxing record, 6-2 amateur MMA record
Cody Garbrandt has been rising up the ranks of the bantamweight division and in popularity since the day he debuted in the Ultimate Fighting Championship on January 3rd, 2015 at UFC 182. He has held a 5-0 record in the octagon since then. Overall, Garbrandt is undefeated since his debut in professional MMA, holding a perfect 10-0 record, winning 9 out of his 10 pro-MMA fights by knockout.
This year, as part of Urijah Faber’s Team Alpha Male camp, Cody’s popularity has increased significantly! With his unique personality, look and dominance, he is an easy standout amongst his peers and I feel he has rightfully earned his first world championship opportunity with time. Regardless of whether he becomes champion this year or not, he has made a name for himself and is becoming one of UFC’s most well-known athletes.
Can 'No Love' become champion? I believe 100% that he can! He has what it takes to knock Dominick Cruz out. Will he do it with ease? We’ll have to wait until December 30th to find that out. Will that be the result? Not so easy to tell. World Champion Dominick Cruz will be the first to tell you why he will remain as the king of the 135 lbs division and why Cody will lose, come tfight night.
Cruz himself has been on a roll beating contenders left, right and centre. 'The Dominator' is one of only two people to defeat Demetrious Johnson, which is saying a lot considering his title of pound-for-pound #1! Cruz is known for going the distance and has never lost by knockout, with only a single loss on his record via submission to Urijah Faber in his 23 professional MMA fights. We all know that Garbrandt is part of Faber’s stable and has been training and preparing with 'The California Kid' for a cosiderable amount of time. In my humble opinion, the fact that Urijah Faber fought Dominick Cruz three times has played a factor in Cody’s preparation for this championship fight. Urijah knows Cruz very well and what he is capable of in the octagon, which means Garbrandt does too.
UFC 207 will be headlined by the returning Ronda Rousey who will challenge champion, Amanda Nunes for the World Bantamweight Championship, with Cruz vs. Garbrandt as the co-main event on a night sure to excite.
Dominick Cruz vs Cody Garbrandt (Bantamweight Championship Bout)
Dominick "The Dominator" Cruz
Record: 22-1-0 (7 KO/TKO, 1 submission, 14 decisions)
Weight: 135 lbs
Strengths: Unorthodox striking and fighting style that is entirely his own, wonderful footwork and movement, super elusive, good power in both hands, fluid dexterity.
Cody "No Love" Garbrandt
Record: 10-0 (9 TKO, 1 decision)
Weight: 135 lbs
Strengths: Brutal power in his strikes, pressures his opponents constantly, ferocious style, always looks for the knockout.
Tyler Yasembousky: If you where my friend on Facebook (you can be, just request me), you would have seen at the beginning of 2015 that I made a post about young Cody "No love" stating that I thought he'd be a world champion in the next two years. And here we are. In my head I always pictured it being him vs. TJ for the title. A battle of two former team mates and two guys who can crack. I thought Cody would catch him and become champ.
Fast forward to now and instead he has 'The Alpha Male Killer', Dominick Cruz as his opponent. As Cruz has told Cody, "I've bought a house beating up your teammates", and he isn't wrong. Right now Cruz might be the most complete fighter in the world. He strikes well, wrestles well, has great defense and doesn't get touched. With all that in mind, it will only take Cody one punch. One big punch and we will have a new champion. But I don't think that punch lands. I think Cruz will win a 5 round war. Garbrandt will be a world champion someday. But that day isn't UFC 207.
The Sportsnista: These two fighters don’t like each other. Period. The back and forth including Cruz’ recent comments about Garbrandt’s girlfriend, guarantee a heated match-up come December 30th. Garbrandt, the young challenger, puts his 10-0 MMA record on the line against the seasoned Cruz.
Cruz has been more about volume than power punching. Especially, during his last two fights superior footwork has allowed him to take on less damage. He’s a complete fighter with a world class tactical approach.
Garbrandt is known for haymakers, as the young challenger was 32-1 during his amateur boxing career. With vctories against T.J. Dillashaw, Urija Faber, and Joeseph Benavides, Cruz has built a career withstanding heavy punchers from Faber’s Alpha Male training facility in the Octagon. The 25-year-old Garbrandt does have respectable defensive skills which would serve him well against any opponent. Except Dominick Cruz.
Prediction: Dominick Cruz, Ground and Pound, Round 2.
Daniel Binnzy: Now I think I am in too deep to back down now. I have been a huge fan of Cody since his arrival and have backed him to reach the top. With that being said, I do think Cruz is among the best fighters breathing air right now. He is a wizard with his movement and has looked the most dominant champion since Jon Jones. I think Cody could have done with a top 10 opponent before this fight just to justify such contest, but it will be huge none the less.
As for the result, I think I am going to be 'that guy' and go against the grain and go for a Garbrandt win. Why? because 2016 has seen a so many upsets, that I am thinking change is on the horizon. You can't hit Cruz, hence my earlier wizard comment, but with the knowlege the Alpha Male camp have on Cruz, and the fact that this is the best striker he has faced during his title reign I think tonight may be the night someone catches him. I will go for a 3rd round knockout. We are going to have a new champion.
Ricky Beschizza: I can already feel the tension from this fight! I know Cody can KO anyone, to be honest, he is like a 135 lbs Chuck Liddell! BUT this is Cruz' bread and butter of a fight, fighting a heavy hitting, small body builder with a bad attitude, Cody is coming into this fight guns blazing and he should be calm and collected, due to all these reasons I see Cruz winning by unanimous decision
This Monday, catch up on who makes the #5 spot on the list of “MMA’s Greatest Pound-for-Pound Fighters”.
Check out Rafael Enrique A. Rebullida’s article “Cruz vs. Faber: The Decade-Long War” here: https://realsport101.com/news/sports/mma/cruz-vs-faber-war