Garbrandt has been tapped for a bout with the renowned, bantamweight champ on December 30th, after going 3-0 in 2016 thus far. After taking out Augusto Mendes in February, Garbrandt went on to quickly stop Thomas Almeida and Takeya Mizugaki in May and August respectively.
Due to these wins, plus Cruz’s well documented issues with Garbrandt’s Team Alpha Male, the latter was awarded a title shot. Even though, the former champ TJ Dillashaw only lost to Cruz via split decision, and is coming off a win over Raphael Assuncao.
“We’re in the fight business and this is a fight, plain and simple. He isn’t in the top five of the division, and it’s my job to go out there and prove it,” said Cruz.
“He did talk himself into this fight, 100 percent. It’s my job to go out there and fight him. I want to fight him, I want to fight this man because it sparks interests and there is a beef there. This guy has been running his mouth a lot. So it’s my job to go out there and shut it for him and show him why he is nowhere near the level he thinks he is”.
Did Garbrandt talk his way into this bout? To an extent. Sure. But, when you’re scoring highlight reel knockouts that many more fans are going to tune into what you’re saying.
It’s going to be fascinating to see if Garbrandt can pull off the upset. If he does, he will be in the “Fighter of the Year” conversation.
UFC 207 will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.