Amanda Nunes lands an overhand right to an already battered face of Ronda Rousey during their bantamweight title fight Friday. To see more images from UFC 207, click on the photo above. Amanda Nunes puts Ronda Rousey on the defensive during their bantamweight title bout on Friday night at UFC 207. Cody Garbrandt strikes a bloodied Dominick Cruz during their bantamweight championship fight at UFC 207.
Dominick Cruz is a unique figure in MMA. The UFC bantamweight champion sports a 22-1 record with no unavenged losses but perhaps even more impressive is that he was able to work his way back to the title after major injuries derailed his career for the better part of four and a half years. His fighting style isn’t something anyone was really doing before he came along and now has its imitators. He’s also one of the best trash talkers in the game and has made many an opponent look silly with his words. Cody Garbrandt is more of a power striker with a 10-0 record and 9 knockouts. He trains out of the Alpha Male camp that has a longstanding rivalry with Cruz.
Round 1. Garbrandt lands the first punch early but Cruz answers back soon thereafter. Garbrandt connects with a two punch combination as Cruz moves in. Garbrandt lands a looping right hand. Garbrandt is taunting Cruz. Garbrandt is landing a number of punches and seems quite confident. Cruz is moving more but not landing a ton. Garbrandt moves in looking to land something big but ends up just swinging at air. Cruz lands a nice low kick. Cruz goes for a takedown but Garbrandt rolls through and ends up back on his feet. Garbrandt gets a takedown late but Cruz returns to his feet. 10-9 Garbrandt.
Round 2. Garbrandt nails Cruz with a big hook. Cruz responds by attacking back which often can be a mistake but Cruz catches Garbrandt with a hard hook of his own that appears to stun the challenger. Garbrandt continues to land solid punches as Cruz moves in. Garbrandt has Cruz timed better than many opponents and his hook in particular is his best blow. They’re landing about the same amount but Garbrandt is connecting harder. Cruz goes for a takedown late. It’s blocked but then they open up with wild punches. Garbrandt lands the best punch of the exchange. Close round. 10-9 Garbrandt.
Round 3. Garbrandt lands a pair of big punches early and Cruz is cut open badly from an accidental headbutt. Cruz’s vision in the left eye has to be badly impaired. Garbrandt is taunting Cruz. Cruz lands a nice combination but eats a heavy answer from Garbrandt moments later. Garbrandt drops Cruz with a hook and then lands a big knee as Cruz gets up and goes back to work. Cruz shoots for a takedown but can’t get it. Garbrandt tries to land a big power shot as Cruz breaks but he cannot land that. 10-9 Garbrandt.
Round 4. Cruz lands a pair of nice kicks early. Garbrandt drops Cruz with a massive left hook. Cruz gets up and goes right back to work and actually lands a nice counter on Garbrandt. However, make no mistake, Cruz was in big trouble there and has taken serious punishment throughout this fight. Cruz moves in looking to land and Garbrandt avoids it all. Garbrandt is clowning Cruz at every chance he can, mugging and taunting after all the things Cruz said before the fight. Garbrandt drops Cruz with a left hook again and dances. 10-8 Garbrandt.
Round 5. Cruz is moving in aggressively, likely knowing he needs something big in this final round. Cruz lands a nice three punch combination. Cruz goes for a flying knee but it is caught. Cruz is having his best round by far, pressing forward, throwing more and landing more. Garbrandt goes for a takedown late and seems content to just press Cruz against the cage. Cruz knocks Garbrandt down with a low kick late. 10-9 Cruz, 49-45 Garbrandt.
Winner: Cody Garbrandt, unanimous decision (48-46, 48-47, 48-46).
After the fight, Garbrandt presents the championship to Maddux Maple, a young friend who has battled leukemia. Garbrandt turned in a very impressive performance in a significant upset. This result doesn’t necessarily mean Dominick Cruz is no longer the fighter he once was but clearly Garbrandt is a force at bantamweight and will be one of the toughest in the division for years to come. Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw is an extremely interesting matchup on a number of levels.