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29th Dec 2016

Cody Garbrandt does terrible job of not allowing Dominick Cruz into his head

Point - Cruz

Darragh Murphy

Dominick Cruz doesn’t get enough credit when it comes to fight fans’ lists of all-time greatest trash talkers.

Maybe it’s because he doesn’t scream and shout. Maybe it’s down to the fact that he seldom causes a scene at press conferences. Or maybe it’s just because he doesn’t have an Irish accent.

But, make no mistake about it, Cruz is right up there with the Conor McGregors of this world when it comes to camping out in opponents’ heads.

A very level-headed and monotone speaker, Cruz has his own brand of trash-talk and although it’s a world away from the on-mic techniques of a Chael Sonnen or a ‘Rampage’ Jackson, it proves just as effective.

This week, we saw unequivocal proof that the reigning, defending UFC bantamweight champion has the mental advantage over upcoming challenger Cody Garbrandt.

Cruz will put his 135lbs title on the line against knockout artist Garbrandt on Friday night and the latest blow in the pre-fight psychological war was dealt and dealt heavily by the belt-holder when he managed to get Garbrandt to storm out of an interview.

Separated by rooms, Cruz clearly burrowed his way under the top contender’s skin and made Garbrandt fidgety and agitated with logical and articulate responses to his rival’s more emotionally-driven comments.

The Fight Network documents the exchange, which ends with Garbrandt storming off camera and having to be calmed down by manager Ali Abdel-Aziz.

Security was obviously never going to let the riled Team Alpha Male fighter get to the man with whom he’ll share the Octagon this weekend, which made it all the more foolish for Garbrandt to even try.

Meanwhile Cruz was able to continue offering his eloquent put-downs with no resistance.

The pair will come head-to-head in Las Vegas this Friday, when they will act as the co-main event of UFC 207 and while Garbrandt is more than capable of catching the elusive Cruz with a heavy right hand, at least we now know that ‘No Love’ is probably no good at poker.