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Dominick Cruz: Garbrandt ‘is not smart enough to deal with this level of competition’

UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz does not think too highly of Cody Garbrandt as a top contender in his division.

Just a few weeks away until they face each other at UFC 207 on December 30th, the tirades thrown between bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and Cody Garbrandt remain personal. Ultimately for Cruz, he thinks his challenger is simply not worthy to get a shot against him.

“No Love” made his UFC debut in January 2015, and is so far 5-0 in the UFC. Three of those victories ended via first round knockout, with the most recent one against Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 202 last August. But for “The Dominator,” none of these accomplishments is enough.

“Plain and simple, he’s not in the top-five of the division,” Cruz said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “And that’s my job, to go out there and prove it. He did talk himself into this fight, 100-percent, and now it’s my job to go out there and fight him.”

“I want to fight him. I want to fight this man, and that’s why this fight is happening, because it sparks interest. There’s a beef there. This guy’s been running his mouth a lot, so my job is to go out there and shut it for him and show him why he’s nowhere near the level he think he is.”

Many would indeed argue that Garbrandt, who’s #5 in the UFC’s official rankings, is not deserving of a top contender status, let alone a title shot. Cruz, however, has no problem with it, since he believes the Team Alpha Male representative will not be able to handle the obligations that come with being considered as one of the elite.

“It’s better for me, because now people want to follow him and hate me. It’s better for me because people want to see me smash him and start following me,” Cruz said. “It’s better for everybody.”

“So if they’re grooming him, good. I’m glad. It’s okay with me. But it’s going to take a lot of grooming, because I’m telling you, the guy is not smart enough to deal with this level of competition that’s at the top.”

Cruz’s interview begins at the 26:17 mark of the video.