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Morning Report: Cody Garbrandt says he deserves Fighter of the Year after he 'dismantles' Dominick Cruz

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UFC bantamweight title challenger Cody Garbrandt says he deserves the Fighter of the Year award after he "dismantles" Dominick Cruz at UFC 207.

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Recently, Dominick Cruz and Cody Garbrandt added yet another log to the fiery back and forth that they've been engaging in all year.

It all started when Cruz posted a video of Garbrandt's most recent loss, an amateur KO, to his Instagram on Thanksgiving. Garbrandt's girlfriend responded by posting a photo of Cruz tapping to Urijah Faber to which Cruz responded on her Instagram, telling her to not "get involved in big boy stuff, little girl." Needless to say, Garbrandt didn't take to kindly to that and proceeded to tell him he was going to "cave your f*cking skull in."

Speaking on The Luke Thomas Show yesterday, Garbrandt talked about this most recent episode of trash talking and how it motivates him.

"It's crazy he blocks me from Instagram - he talks sh*t to me then blocks me, then talks sh*t to my girl then blocks my girl. It's like someone standing outside of your house talking sh*t and saying, 'let's go fight' and you open up the door and cuss them out and then you shut the door and lock it. That's b*tch mode...

"I'm not new to this. This is fine, I use this as fuel to the fire. Dominick was first trying to get under my skin with the daddy issues comment - and that's his insecurities coming out. He comes from a similar background - single mother - so I feel bad for the guy. He's full of insecurities and so he's prying and prying and picking and picking trying to get under my skin."

Cruz and Garbrandt have been engaging in a war of words basically since Urijah Faber lost to Cruz at UFC 199 and proceeded to big up Garbrandt in his post-fight speech and that war of words has been good for Garbrandt. An unranked fighter to start the year, three impressive knockouts and a mount of trash talk towards the champion has gotten him the No. 5 ranking at bantamweight and a title shot against Cruz at the end of the year. And should Garbrandt continue his impressive streak against one of the pound-for-pound best in the sport, he believes that should earn him not just the UFC championship but also Fighter of the Year.

"I think I should be Fighter of the Year. I go from unranked to world champion in one year. Before I got in the UFC, I wrote down on a piece of paper a goal that I was going to make it to the UFC in 2015 and then I'll be the world champion before 2017 so I'm right on track. I pull out that piece of paper all the time and look at it. It's motivation...

"So that'll be nice, fighter of the year. I think I deserve it. Dominick is one of the top bantamweights, top fighters in the world and obviously with my progression throughout my fights I'm finishing fighters faster and faster and faster each fight...So if they want to give my fighter of the year after I dismantle Dominick Cruz I'll be happy to accept the award."

Garbrandt also erroneously states that a win over Cruz would make him the youngest champion in UFC history, citing Jon Jones as winning the belt at 25 but Jones won the UFC light heavyweight championship at 23 (Garbrandt actually wouldn't even make the top 10). However, a win would make the 25-year-old the youngest current champion in the UFC by a fairly wide margin with the next closest champions being Conor McGregor and Amanda Nunes who are both 28 (McGregor is younger by a couple of months). Ultimately, it doesn't matter much either way to Garbrandt though because he's not focused on breaking records.

"I'm focused on just breaking one thing and that's Dominick's jaw."

Cody Garbrandt challenges Dominick Cruz for the UFC bantamweight championship in the co-main event of UFC 207 on Dec. 30th in Las Vegas.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

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Let's be honest, Conor McGregor is going to win Fighter of the Year this year even though Bisping deserves it.

Happy hump day y'all. See ya tomorrow.

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If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.