Current bantamweight Champion Dominick "The Dominator" Cruz (21-1) will face #5 ranked bantamweight Cody "No Love" Garbrandt (10-0) on December 30th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
Cruz vs Garbrandt. The fight that doesn't make sense, but we are tuning in anyways...
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT DOMINICK CRUZ
"The Dominator" himself carries the bantamweight title belt after gaining a win by split decision against former Champion TJ Dillashaw (14-3) back in January of this year. After being MIA for just about three years from injuries it was a surprise to everyone when Cruz came back in the shape that he did.
Who IS Dominick Cruz though?
If we take a minor step back into his fight career you will notice that the word Champion isn't something new. He became the Total Combat Champion not just at 145 lbs, but also at 155 lbs. MIGHT I ADD he is the WEC Bantamweight Champion as well?
I mean... in 2007 Cruz lost the belt to now retired bantamweight, THE CALIFORNIA KING, Urijah Faber (34-10) yet won the belt back when he fought Brandon Bowles (18-4).
Once Cruz entered into the UFC for his debut in 2011, he fought Faber again only this time to come out with a win.
"The Dominator" hasn't lost since however, his last fight before the injuries came in the picture was an impressive decision win against the current Flyweight Champion, Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson (25-2-1).
Before Cruz came back in 2014 he was forced to vacate his Championship belt...
...since he wasn't able to properly defend the title at that time.
He had about between Takeya Mizugaki (21-11-2) where he won Fight Of The Night. Not even 4 months later he fought Dillashaw and gained the belt back. Ever since then he has defended his belt successfully one time and that was during his trilogy fight with Urijah Faber at UFC 199: Rockhold vs Bisping.
Cruz has a superb wrestling background that urged him to want to fight competitively, yet when you see him now he is a dancing machine how he glides around his opponents with lateral motion.
His power and style are very unique and I can see how fighters would get frustrated when they can't land any shots on Dominick's body because he is just too fast.
Cruz trains out of San Diego, CA with Alliance MMA and he is surrounded by nothing but top-notch fighters including one of my favorite women bantamweight's "Alpha" Cat Zingano (9-2).
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT CODY GARBRANDT
Where do I even begin with "No Love"?
When talking about his amateur career Garbrandt had was a good (6-2), but he also had a pro boxing career where he remained undefeated at (10-0). Just like his UFC career, he made his debut into the pro-MMA field in January 2015 to face Marcos "Bama Beast" Brimage (7-5) at UFC 182: Jones vs Cormier.
He got a TKO in the 3rd round and with his second fight 5 months later against Enrique "Henry Brue" Briones (19-6-1), he won by decision. ALL of his other fights through the UFC have been TKO after TKO.
The one I do have to say that impressed me the most was when he fought against Thomas "Thominhas" Almeida (21-1), who was completely undefeated then and came as a threat within the bantamweight division.
"No Love" completely dominated that fight when he came across SWINGING in that octagon. He is a wrestler indeed, but WOW.
It was clear he wanted/needed to make a statement against his toughest competition at that time and he indeed made heads turn.
TO GET THAT TKO IN THE FIRST ROUND WAS LIKE:
WHO IS THIS "NO LOVE" GUY was the only thing running through my mind... and then he basically turned around to do the same with Takeya Mizugaki (21-11-2).
Sooooo Sir No Love CLEARLY has some hands...
SO WHAT DO I THINK ABOUT ALL OF THIS??
*TAKES A DEEP BREATH*
Ever since "No Love" started his pro career he hasn't stopped climbing that ladder in the UFC rankings. That is the only way I can really make sense of this fight right now.
When I think about the next opponent for Cruz it is a little odd to me that Dillashaw still hasn't gotten that rematch beforehand given that it was such a close fight.
It is hard to turn away from the dominance Cody has during his fights and how fast it has all been, MEANWHILE Cruz has only defended his belt once before this fight.
When I think about the style of Dominick Cruz sometimes it gives me chills because it is like watching an artist on stage if I am going to get poetic about it.
IT REALLY IS.
Cruz is patient, smart, and very timely with everything that he does while he is constantly moving the whole entire time.
The main issue that I have is that he always has his hands down. Going against someone with the TKO power that Garbrandt holds is only going to take ONE LITTLE JAB that catches Cruz onto the floor. YES WE KNOW, Cruz has never been TKO'd inside of the UFC Octagon. But the way I see it is THIS...
If Garbrandt comes forward very early on like he always does, he better be lucky his opponent's hands are down because there is no way you can get Cruz on the ground of that cage otherwise given his grappling skills (which I think is just a tad better than Garbrandt's... actually, a lot better).
BUT if that doesn't work out I can see this fight going to a decision because I just see Garbrandt chasing Cruz aaaaaall overrrrrr that octagon.
*DAYDREAMS ABOUT TJ DILLASHAW VS DOMINICK CRUZ DURING THAT COLD NIGHT ON JANUARY 17TH, 2016 IN BOSTON, MA*
If "No Love" is SMART he will use other tactics besides his power punches. Like maybe throw some kicks in there to break that body down slowwwwwly. I really hope American Top Team is teaching him some other things up in that gym cause if not this fight can end rather predictable.
DOMINICK "THE DOMINATOR" CRUZ WILL WIN BY DECISION and yes that is my final answer. Cruz is too smart of a fighter to let Garbrandt do any damage to him and the focus Cody will have the entire time is how/when he will knock Cruz out.
Funny thing is, I don't really think Cody will get the TKO he has been banking on like his other bouts in the past. Even though "The Dominator" is so in-tune with his skills he doesn't mind letting his hands down because he is the Champion for a reason.
Have you ever thought about Cruz just using that as a way to play around with his opponent to expose and make them look a little foolish?
BECAUSE I DO.
Bruce Buffer will shout "AND STILL" after the co-main event is over while the undefeated stats of "No Love" will be broken, including his heart.
Until then it is only a matter of time where we can see all the action take place on December 30th in Las Vegas, NV at the T-Mobile Arena.