Cody Garbrandt was a teenager when he began watching MMA. And back then, just like now, Dominick Cruz was the kind of the bantamweight mountain.
Going back to high school, Garbrandt told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour that he has envisioned finishing Cruz. That’s exactly what he plans on doing at UFC 207 on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas.
“No Love” is predicting a knockout and leaving T-Mobile Arena with the UFC’ bantamweight title.
“I’ll say second round,” Garbrandt said “First or second round. The only reason I want to take him to the second round is I want to make him have a conscious decision to get off the stool and answer the second round after beating him up so bad in the first round.”
Cruz and Garbrandt have gone back and forth in interviews and on social media with trash talk. Garbrandt said he relishes the verbal warfare. But he was not a fan of a comment Cruz posted on his Garbrandt’s girlfriend’s Instagram recently.
Garbrandt’s girlfriend posted a photo of Cruz being guillotine choked by Urijah Faber in 2007, in response to Cruz posting about Garbrandt being knocked out as an amateur Cruz commented on her Instagram: “Don’t get involved in big boy stuff little girl … ur just going to get yourself embarrassed … just have the tissue ready for your boy toy when he loses, that’s your job.”
“I love the banter back and forth, but going on my girl’s site and doing that, I just a lot of respect for him,” Garbrandt said. “You can say whatever you want about me, my family, me being fatherless, coming from a broken family and things like that, you go and do that and that’s just childish. It just shows that he’s very immature. And he’s just desperate. He’s a desperate man in there.”
Still, it’s not something Garbrandt (10-0) is really all that worried about, he said. To him, it speaks to Cruz’s mindset.
“I’m not really focused on it,” Garbrandt said. “Like I said, my girl can hold her own. I think he needs to be focused on more than going on my girlfriend’s page and talking crap and doing that. He needs to focus on me and not her.”
What Garbrandt, 25, said he’s zeroing in on is UFC 207. It’s not too far away now. And he believes he’ll have his hand raised in relatively short order.
“I know my shots will come,” Garbrandt said. “I know I’ll land a good one and put him to sleep. It depends on what kind of fight he brings to me. If he comes out, trying to brawl like he said he’s gonna try to knock me out, then it’s gonna be an early night for me.”