Going into UFC 207, many predicted that Dominick Cruz’ elusiveness, movement, and experience would result in the reigning champion defeating Team Alpha Male prospect Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt in their highly anticipated championship fight.
Come fight night however, Garbrandt delivered a masterful performance as he repeatedly dropped the champion several times throughout the course of the 5-round fight, using impeccable head movement to out-strike Cruz en route to a dominant unanimous decision.
While the performance was certainly a spectacular one from Garbrandt, striking guru Duane Ludwig believes that Dominick Cruz looked off.
He spoke on ESPN’s 5ive Rounds podcast:
“Cody looked really good in his last fight, but I will say this: Cruz did not look good. Cruz looked off,” Ludwig said during his recent appearance on ESPN.com’s 5ive Rounds podcast. “I think he took the high road and said he was healthy, but he did not look like the same Cruz at all.”
“Cruz’s footwork wasn’t there,” he continued. “Mentally and physically, he didn’t look the same. I can’t say for sure he had an injury, but he wasn’t feinting and pumping like he typically does to pull guys in.”
“It was a combination of Cody having a really good night and Cruz having an off night. That’s what happened in my very expert opinion,” Ludwig said. “I’ve been in this game a long time. This is what I do. I’ve dedicated my life to martial arts. In my professional, expert opinion, Cruz looked off.”
Garbrandt of course will be defending his title against TJ Dillashaw, Ludwig’s star pupil, after the pair finish their TUF 25 coaching stint which is currently being filmed. So far no official word yet on when that fight will take place however.
Stay tuned for updates on that situation as they become available.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/22/2017.