Dominick Cruz Warns Cody Garbrandt: 'It's Not Over Yet'
The former two-time UFC bantamweight champion is back in the gym at the Alliance MMA and yesterday, FloCombat's Senior Editor Duane Finley swung by to catch up with the Fox Sports analyst.
Having been defeated for the first time in over ten years last December, Cruz had taken the time to reflect more on the loss and gave some further insights. Just as he'd done in the post-fight press conference straight after the fight, Cruz heaped praise on the new champion for his gameplan and suggested that Team Alpha Male had learned well after their previous defeats to him.
"Well I went back and in that interview after the fight I pretty much said everything I needed to say as an analyst, as everything," Cruz said. "It's just one of those camps where I don't think there is anyone in history who has fought the same camp and teammates as much as I have. That being said, they came up with a gameplan and they learned a specific way to fight me after so many attempts to beat me.
"Looking at Garbrandt, he comes from an upcoming era--he's one of the up and coming guys so when I was fighting and when I was fighting all these guys that he calls teammates, he was the young guy saying to all these guys saying 'teach me, I want to be as good as you. I'll go in there and I want to beat the champ one day and I want to be as good as you guys."
Cruz explained how he believed Garbrandt witnessing him beat his teammates gave him the open-mindedness to look at the way he fought, and tailor his own style to defeat him.
"I think that made him open minded," Cruz said. "Whereas a lot of those guys would never give me the credit, I think Garbrandt the opening to say 'this guy is pretty good, he's beaten all my teammates so I'm going to take him very seriously, come up with a gameplan and build my style to beat what is at the top of 135-pounds'."
While willing to give Garbrandt all the props in the world for what he did at UFC 207, Cruz added a timely reminder that this wouldn't mean he'd just go away. He sent a clear message to both future titles contender TJ Dillashaw and Garbrandt that he was coming for the belt and that next time they see him, he's going to be better than ever.
"He came up with some good adjustments, and that team did and they got me that night--but it's not over yet," Cruz said. "I mean, you can't get rid of me that easy--I proved it in that fight, in that fifth round, I won that round having lost three and four and I think that's a big deal. I think it's something that excites me to go back in there for the second round against him and when we fight again, or Dillashaw if he gets that belt, I'm right there. It's not going to be easy scrapping with me in there and I'm looking forward to it."