In the co-main event at UFC 207, the UFC bantamweight division was on the line as the champion Dominick Cruz took on the Team Alpha Male prodigy, Cody Garbrandt.
The pre-fight buildup between the two had been nothing short of spectacular and fight itself had fireworks aplenty.
The opening round began at a furious pace with Garbrandt pushing forward and throwing power punch after power punch that Cruz dipped and ducked out way of. Garbrandt landed on occasion, but Cruz relented with his high-volume movement. Cruz was taken down late on in the round, but sprung straight back up to his feet before anything significant could happen.
Round two began at a similarly fast pace. Cruz continuing to dictate the action with his movement, but Garbrandt throwing with venom each and every time the champion came within distance. Cruz caught Garbrandt with a nice right hand counter in the first minute, but he recovered well and put a nice left hand on Cruz’s chin midway through the round.
The second round ended with Cruz landed a big hook off a takedown, however before that transpired Garbrandt landed several leg kicks which was a tactic he’d been using since the outset.
Round three opened with Garbrandt landing a solid counter right that cut Cruz badly over his left eye. The crowd at this point were going insane and the chants for the challenger rang all around the T-Mobile Arena.
With his confidence growing seemingly with every minute ticking passed, Garbrandt dropped Cruz with a big counter. The champion recovered well and was straight back to his feet, but the damage had been done and he had to eat another series of slick counters before the round was over.
In between rounds the doctor took a long look at the cut above Cruz’s eye which was both deep and wide. The action continued, but Garbrandt literally smelt blood and went hunting for a finish.
Cruz was knocked down three times in one round as he lost his bantamweight title (Getty)
With the finish line in sight Garbrandt dropped Cruz again with a massive punch, but Cruz got up off the mat again bravely. The challenger’s confidence was now sky high and he proceeded to taunt Cruz as he slipped and ducked the champion’s ever slowing strikes.
With thirty seconds left in the round, all hell broke loose as Cruz as dropped another two times by Garbrandt right hands. The fourth round ended with the wind very much in the challenger’s sails as the crowd stood on their feet and cheered both men back to their stools.
The fifth and final round finally saw the pace drop a little as both men approached the final five minutes with more caution. Cruz seemed unaffected movement wise by the punishment he’d taken previously, but his strikes were missing their target as Garbrandt countered well with clean counters.
Cruz relentlessly ploughed forward, but Garbrandt seemed to be seeing everything and moved out the way of all his advances. With the fight approaching it’s final minute Garbrandt nullified any further Cruz offense by pressing him against the cage and moving away from his advances.
Cody Garbrandt beat Dominick Cruz to win the UFC bantamweight championship (Getty)
The fight ended with Garbrandt with his hands in the air, taunting the clearly exhausted champion who’d put in an amazingly brave performance given the shots he’d taken.
After five amazing rounds, the decision was read and to the surprise of no one, Cody Garbrandt was declared the new UFC bantamweight champion via unanimous decision.
It was a fight too remember and one that will likely be replayed for decades to come.