Garbrandt was able to get the better of the exchanges over the five-round championship fight and became the undisputed champion of the men’s 135-pound division with a unanimous decision win.
Following just the second loss of his professional mixed martial arts career, Cruz was humble in defeat as the former champion dealt with losing for the first time since 2007 with pure class.
“I enjoyed every second of this fight,” Cruz said at the UFC 207 post-fight press conference (transcribed by Shaun Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting). “Look, I’ve been fighting the best guys in the world for the past 10 years, the top two in the world. I’ve been on the pound-for-pound list for a long time. Even when I was hurt with triple ACL reconstructive surgeries, there was a target on my back. I had to come back and fight through it. This was no different. This was just another fight that I had to challenge myself.
“I knew that he was going to be good. I said that leading into it. He knew I was going to be good, and that’s what it is when you’re champion. Somebody else has the target on their back now, and I get to chase the target for once. That’s how it goes. It’s OK. We’ve seen the best in the world lose it, and we’ve seen the best in the world gain it back,” Cruz continued.
“After feeling it, after getting through it, after seeing the look in his eyes a couple times when I punched him, when I kicked him, when I fought, I’m not disappointed in myself at all. All I can say is I lost, and I’ll take my loss like a man.”
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