After a brutal stoppage win over #11 ranked bantamweight Takeya Mizugaki, Cody Garbrandt had some choice words for champion Dominick Cruz, who was doing desk duty for the Fox Sports team as an analyst. Not a bad moment to do so, considering that the champion was right there and Garbrandt seems closer and closer to an opportunity to test himself against Cruz.
For all of his best efforts, it seemed to have not impressed Cruz in the slightest. The champ remained as unflappable as ever, and addressed some of the things that Garbrandt has been saying in interviews and dismissing the young fighter as just another future notch in his belt. Most curious was Dominick's reaction to a backstage conversation that took place earlier in the evening between Cruz and Garbrandt, that did not turn to anything physical yet the two were still separated by light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier to prevent any escalation.
(Watch the video at the top of the page, beginning at around the 1:58 mark)
"Garbrandt's been running his mouth for a long time. After I got done fighting Faber, he was right there already jawing, talking about me polishing the belt and whatnot. And it's like, "Man, alright. Now you've disrespected me before I even knew who you were." I didn't even say one word to this man. I didn't even know who he was! No clue! I just thought he was an up-and-comer with crazy tattoos. I thought he was CM Punk for a second, and then he got it together and I was like, "Oh, shoot - that's not. That's the CM Punk of the 135 pound division, he's got all the hype behind him." So maybe I should just go in there, take the wind from his sails, and then move on and keep beating everybody else."
Whether or not Cody gets the next title shot, the groundwork has been set in case that match does happen. Not only that, but this could very easily be a way for Cruz to get inside of Garbrandt's head. The title situation at 135 remains unclear for now, but this could nudge things in the desired direction for both fighters.