The most debated bantamweight match-up in MMA has been made official for December 30’s UFC 207.
UFC officials confirmed to ESPN.com today (Mon., October 24, 2016,) that 135-pound champion Dominick Cruz will meet surging contender Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt in the co-main event of the year-ending card from Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.
Cruz famously made his return from a four-year bout with multiple injuries to wrest the title from TJ Dillashaw in a close, controversial bout at January’s UFC Fight Night 81. ‘The Dominator’ then moved onto a one-sided decision win over longtime rival Urijah Faber in the co-main of June 4’s UFC 199.
Meanwhile, ‘No Love’ has been doing anything but winning decisions, knocking out opponents left and right on his way to an impressive five-fight win streak in the UFC featuring four knockouts. He was last seen dominating longtime veteran Takeya Mizugaki at August’s UFC 202, and he ended the heavy hype train of Brazilian contender Thomas Almeida with a shocking first-round knockout only months earlier this May.
The fight has been talked about as the ultimate clash of styles in the suddenly buzzing 135-pound division, with the master of movement and avoiding strikes set to face off against arguably the most powerful puncher in the short history of UFC bantamweights. It also comes in some past bad blood involved, as Garbrandt now carries the torch for Faber and all of Team Alpha Male, whom Cruz has long had a bitter rivalry with.
The fight will lead into UFC 207’s anticipated Amanda Nunes vs. Ronda Rousey women’s bantamweight main event, ‘Rowdy’s’ long-awaited return to the Octagon following her devastating loss to Holly Holm last year.
But could Cruz vs. Garbrandt steal the 135-pound show on December 30?