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Cody Garbrandt taunts, dances past Dominick Cruz to win UFC gold

Peyton Wesner

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. — After scuffles, interview fireworks, and social media jabs, the octagon door shut behind UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and undefeated challenger Cody Garbrandt.

As expected, the bout started with no glove touch and it did not disappoint.

In a 25-minute classic, Cody Garbrandt (12-0, 6-0 in UFC) landed more regularly, taunted more frequently, and handed Dominick Cruz (22-3, 5-1 in UFC) the first loss of his UFC career.

“It sounds amazing. I’ve been waiting to hear that and [I have] visualized that since [I was] 12 years old,” said Garbrandt of being a champion. “It’s been a great journey. I want to thank everybody who has been a part of it.”

Cruz was aggressive early. The champion found the range with left hooks and traded in the pocket with the knockout specialist.

Though, “No Love” displayed some Cruz-like footwork in response. “The Dominator” missed badly on many strike attempts and resorted to a takedown.

Despite it landing, the two went back to stand-up prior to Garbrandt returning with a successful shoot. Cruz finished with a flurry that blasted the Ohio native. Yet, nothing was going to stop Cody Garbrandt on this night.

“I thrive in that environment,” said the “Fighter of the Year” candidate. “That’s what I grew up in — fighting. That’s all I know. I know nothing else.”

Unlike the first, action slowed in the ensuing second round. Both Cruz and Garbrandt began to calculate openings and contemplate the next strike. Regardless of the snail pace, “No Love” hit fast-forward and exploded a combination.

Garbrandt proceeded to counterstrike with his opponent. By using the aggressive nature of “The Dominator,” the challenger was able to sit back and calmly answer to all attacks.

In the third, blood was drawn to the champion. Brutal haymakers followed by an accidental head butt, started blood flowing from above the left eye of Cruz. With a big gash as his target, Garbrandt landed nasty combinations, causing blood to flow down the left side of Cruz’s face.

At the same time, Dominick Cruz’s offense became non-existent. “No Love” continued to taunt and challenge the champion as no powerful strike could be landed. Garbrandt danced throughout the round and Cruz failed to muster anything to cease his opponent’s antics.

Despite being in his first championship round, Garbrandt’s stamina never wavered. He ended up putting the definitive final touches on his victory by knocking Cruz down four times in the five minutes.

“He’s the champion for a reason,” Garbrandt said of Cruz’s chin. “He’s [got] a big old head so I knew it would be hard to knock him out.”

Dominick Cruz, the champion he is, never stayed down. But, he would need a finish to retain his belt.

“The Dominator,” like a terminator on a mission, put pressure on his target. However, he never was able to take the legs out from under Garbrandt or knock him down.

In the year of champions losing their belts, Dominick Cruz, the first new champion of 2016, proved to be the last to surrender UFC gold.

Official Result: Cody Garbrandt def. Dominick Cruz via Unanimous Decision (48-46, 48-47, 48-46)

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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