Garbrandt outscored Cruz on Friday night and went on to win a unanimous decision victory. Although Cruz landed some shots during the entertaining bout, Garbrandt was able to tag the unorthodox fighter many times with hard punches. That was something folks in the MMA world aren’t accustomed to seeing.
After the bout, here is some of what the bantamweight had to say about his championship win, and Cruz (quote via MMA Mania):
“I was really just curious to see his speed, his angles,” said Garbrandt. “Everyone believed the hype of him being … he’s 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 fight certainly didn’t go the way most pundits expected. The consensus going in was that Cruz would have the advantage in speed and footwork, but that Garbrandt could end the fight, if he was able to land that one big shot. The speed advantage for Cruz never materialized, however, and although Garbrandt didn’t KO him, he did drop the star.
After the fight, Cruz said Garbrandt’s use of range, rather than a speed advantage, was key to his win. It will be interesting to see if Cruz can reclaim the title. The loss was his first in nearly ten years.