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Cody Garbrandt unsure Dominick Cruz will 'ever come back to fighting'

FOXSports logo FOXSports 1/10/2017 Damon Martin
December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Garbrandt lands a hit against Dominick Cruz during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports © Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Garbrandt lands a hit against Dominick Cruz during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Weeks before Cody Garbrandt dethroned Dominick Cruz to become the new UFC bantamweight champion, he already conceded to an automatic rematch to prove his win was no fluke.

Garbrandt did his part by beating Cruz at UFC 207 by unanimous decision in one of the most electrifying performances of the year and just as promised he offered the former champion a rematch just minutes after they stepped out of the Octagon.

Nearly two weeks has passed since that time and Garbrandt says he still hasn't heard a word from Cruz about his offer for a rematch.

"I offered him the rematch and I'm surprised that he's not wanting the rematch," Garbrandt told FOX Sports. "For being the dominant champion, he doesn't want the rematch. So I'm kind of surprised that I broke him in there. I don't know if he'll ever come back to fighting."

In the matchup at UFC 207, Garbrandt got the better of Cruz in several exchanges on the feet, but most notably were the two knockdowns he landed that nearly ended the fight.

Garbrandt says as much as he wanted to finish Cruz by knockout, he enjoyed punishing his opponent for all the things he said in the lead up to their fight and beating him by decision over five rounds just made his victory that much sweeter.

Now he wants to offer Cruz the rematch but this time around Garbrandt promises to finish the fight in much quicker and definitive fashion.

"I knew I could knock him out. That's why I said I'm very adamant on the rematch, I know I would knock him out in two rounds," Garbrandt said. "I said I would do the rematch because I knew I would knock him out in the second round just like my first prediction. I was just having fun whooping his ass, clowning him, I had a lot of unanswered questions to the media, the public and the people but I already that. I just wanted to go out and show them people that I can go fight rounds. I can dance. I'm not one dimensional. I'm just getting started.

"I gave him numerous opportunities. He knows what was in there. I'm just getting started. I stand firmly by my belief that I would knock him out in the second round the next time that we fight. That's why I was giving him the rematch but we'll see what he's going to do from here. We'll see how he comes back. But I'm ready for the best Dominick Cruz just like I was the first time. I'll be ready for whatever."

Following their fight, Cruz was extremely humble in defeat while offering up zero excuses about why he lost other than paying credit to Garbrandt for an outstanding performance.

While his words rang of sincerity, Garbrandt isn't ready to buy that Cruz was really being that gracious but rather saying what's expected of him to prevent any blowback after he was so soundly defeated.

"I did break him. He brought this upon himself this week. I was going to go out there and knock him out and build up the hype for a rematch β€” 'oh he got knocked out, he got caught' β€” but he's the one that made me punish him. He's the one all week his team trying to throw me off, make me as the bad guy and then they go in the media and say they were the victims. He's fake to me. He knew what he had to do after the fight," Garbrandt said.

"He's been around the broadcasts and he's had inside of everything in the media so he knows how the media can turn on him like they did Ronda (Rousey) β€” when you lose and you're not humble about it. So he knew what he had to do. Maybe it's from his heart, maybe not, but for the (expletive) he said, I'm not taking his word on it to be honest."

There's no doubt that Garbrandt and Cruz had several heated exchanges in the lead up to the first fight, and it's clear the new champion isn't ready to forgive and forget after winning at UFC 207.

Garbrandt says perhaps he'll let it all go in the future, but not until after he beats Cruz for a second time so he can officially put the former champion in his rearview mirror for good.

"The (expletive) he talked, I know there's a rematch so I'm not cool with him," Garbrandt said. "I'm not going to be cool with him. We're going to fight again if he's not broke and doesn't retire.

"You look back when the fight was first signed I said this was his retirement fight. People didn't want to believe me but I had to go out there and prove everybody wrong. I believed in myself. My team believed in myself, my coaches, supporters, that's all I needed was self-belief."


MMA: UFC 207-Nunes vs Rousey: December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes celebrates her victory and championship retention against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Best Photos of UFC 207

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