Cody Garbrandt is the new UFC Bantamweight champion after defeating Dominick Cruz at UFC 207, but Garbrandt said he was surprised Cruz looked slow in their encounter.
Garbrandt said in the UFC 207 post-fight press conference he was "in shock" that Cruz was moving as fast as he had believed he would be.
“I was really just curious to see his speed, his angles,” Garbrandt said. “Everyone believed the hype of him being The Matrix, he’s a ghost in there. He’s great. I’m not taking nothing away from him, but I was almost in shock he was as slow as he was in his movements and his angles weren’t there.”
The new champion believed the fight was starting to turn in his favor when he opened up a cut above Cruz's left eye about halfway through the fight.
“That’s when it changed right there,” Garbrandt said. “He didn’t like that blood running down his face. That’s when I said, ‘Dominick, are you having fun yet?’ And he didn’t answer me. In the first and second round, he would answer me back each time. That’s right then, I knew that he wasn’t having fun in the fight.”
The win capped off a banner year for Garbrandt. Garbrandt won all four of his fights in 2016 and not only went the distance with Cruz, but won with an impressive performance, dropping Cruz several times throughout the bout. The three judges gave the fight to Garbrandt (48-46, 48-47, 48-46) as well as Fightful's David Tees (49-46). The loss was Cruz's first since 2007 and his first UFC loss.
Garbrandt's first title defense could likely be a rematch against Cruz or a fight with top-ranked TJ Dillashaw, who shutout John Lineker at UFC 207. Dillashaw won the fight via unanimous decision with all three judges scoring the fight 30-26 in favor of Dillashaw.