One of the highlights of last weekend’s UFC on Fox 22 broadcast was an interview facilitated by Jon Anik, featuring bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and his UFC 207 challenger Cody Garbrandt. Yet while the two fighters delivered a fairly memorable exchange, they were not actually side by side. Though they were both on site at the arena, they participated in this interview from different locations.
During an appearance on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour, Garbrandt explained to host Ariel Helwani that this was not supposed to be the way things unfolded. Instead, he was told that he and the champion would be face to face. He believes the plans were changed because Cruz got scared.
“I would have rather done it side by side,” Garbrandt said on the show. “That’s what I was told that we were doing, was a side by side sit down, side by side, but Dominick got scared so we had to do a split-screen. So I’m talking shit into a camera, looking into a camera lens. It was a little different. I would have liked to have been side by side, but other than that it’s cool, man. He’s good with his words, but he’s a desperate man, he’s just trying to get under my skin and get me riled up, but it’s not working.”
“I got a call earlier in the week that it was a side by side interview with Dom, but I got to the fight and we’re split screen. On the screen I see Jon [Anik] and Dominick, and I have that goofy ass headset on, talking into the camera, you know? It was a little hard to hear, but it was good. It’s whatever. It was hyping up the fight. What I say is real. I’m gonna go in there and do that. He says he’s going to knock me out, I think it’s comical. I’m kind of still just laughing about it. He thinks that he’s going to put me in the hospital, and it motivates me, and it makes it feel authentic. It makes it feel like a fight.”
Do you think Cruz was really scared of a face-to-face interview with his upcoming foe? Sound off, PENN Nation!