Will a Dominick Cruz vs. Cody Garbrandt Fight Save the UFC Bantamweight Division

By Derek Ferreira
Nov. 02, 2016

Welcome back to another edition of the MMA Take! Last week, I talked about Ronda Rousey and her upcoming match against Amanda Nunes at UFC 207. This week, I'll speak of the Bantamweights where I'll discuss Dominick Cruz and T.J. Dillashaw. Also, next week, they'll be no MMA Take, as I'll switch my focus to UFC 205. The MMA Take will return in two weeks recapping all of the events from the historical UFC 205 from MSG.

Will a Dominick Cruz vs. Cody Garbrandt Fight Save the UFC Bantamweight Division: I'm a fan of Dillashaw, and in my honest opinion if Cruz hadn't been out with his ACL injury, Dillashaw would not be a UFC Champion. With that said, with Dillashaw suffering a severe cut this past weekend, UFC is making the right decision on a Cruz vs. Garbrandt fight. Honestly, Dillashaw didn't show me any heart and determination in his win over Raphael Assuncao to make me think that he'll get a rematch with Cruz. Meanwhile, Garbrandt being a serious contender is what the bantamweight division needs, as I wasn't sold first, but as I thought through my head, I figured it made sense. Again, looking at the UFC Bantamweight rankings, Dillashaw is No, 1 in these ranking and Garbrandt is at No. 6. I've already talked about Dillashaw, but John Lineker, who is ranked No. 2 has missed weight, in which he missed weight in his last fight (I can't keep a record of how many times he's missed weight before a fight). Then you have Assuncao, who is ranked at No. 3 and was defeated by Dillashaw. So that leaves the 4th ranked fighter in Jimmie Shaw and the 5th ranked in Bryan Caraway. Rivera is arguably on fire considering that he defeated Urijah Faber two months ago, but my guess is that he's not ready to fight a guy like Cruz, as Rivera would be jumping into camp after his win over Faber. Lastly, I get into Caraway, who is carrying a two-fight winning streak but has only managed to fight twice since 2014 and is dating Miesha Tate. Sure, Caraway could get a title shot in the future, but threatening Ronda Rousey and hitting an elbow on Cat Zingano is going to give the UFC bad press. But in the end, Garbrandt facing a fighter, who has looked dominant since returning from two devastating knee injuries, gives the UFC the promotional press machine a big boost.