So it’s official, Cody Garbrandt has been granted his wish and finally has the opportunity to punch Dominick Cruz in the face at UFC 207. Great news for anyone whose been following the beef between the two with a relish and passion topped only by Cody Garbrandt himself. So while this match up may be the what the fans, Garbrandt, and Cruz want, the big question is this: Can Cody get the job done? Now, with mixed martial arts anything is possible, so sometimes asking these questions can be a bit futile, ultimately leading nowhere. But hypotheticals are too enticing for me to simply just walk away from, so here’s my two cents.
No, Cody Garbrandt will not beat Dominick Cruz at UFC 207. The rationalization is fairly simple in all actuality. Cody Garbrandt is an absolute savage, a talented boxer with speed and explosive movement that should give every bantamweight pause. The problem here is that he doesn’t offer Dominick Cruz anything he hasn’t seen before.
Where Garbrandt shines is when people decide to stay in the pocket with him. As such, that means Garbrandt is going to be hard pressed to land some leather on Dominick Cruz’s chin. The bantamweight champion isn’t a man who will sit in the pocket and trade blows for kicks. He’s looking to create angles, frustrate his opponents on the feet, all the while threatening with take downs throughout.
While Garbrandt does have good speed and pop on his punches, great footwork as well, he tends to share something in common with his former teammate TJ Dillashaw: both have a tendency to lead with their heads allowing themselves to get hit while looking for their own strike. While this can be great when you have a dance partner of a similar mindset, Cruz is a man known for never being in the same position twice if he can avoid it.
Garbrandt is going to have to utilize leg kicks as well as have his counter wrestling game on point. Here’s the problem with that though. Being primarily a puncher at heart, Garbrandt has a style that Cruz has seen a number of times in his career. Dillashaw was a much more complex puzzle for Cruz to figure out and he did so passing the test flying colors.
We’ll leave the full analysis for later, but what do you guys think of Cody Garbrandt’s chances against Dominick Cruz?