Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has one of the best trash talking games in mixed martial arts history. He verbally destroyed the then challenger leading up to their fight at UFC 207, causing a series of angry outbursts.
Then Cruz lost.
Garbrandt’s head coach Justin Buchholz appeared recently on Brian Stann’s Toe-2-Toe podcast and said he was not concerned pre fight, as Garbrandt enjoys a Mike Tyson like mentality. Buchholz obviously meant the, “My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable, and I’m just ferocious,” Mike Tyson. Not the Mike who then said, “I want your heart, I want to eat his children, praise be to Allah.”
“Going into that fight we had all kinds of altercations in camp between some of Dominick’s team and our team,” said the coach, as transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting. “There were little street fighting situations between us, and when I saw the big shift, where I really was confident in Cody’s mentality, that Cody was in his head, was when Dominick said ‘that’s the kind of energy Cody’s putting off, I need to match that energy.’ I was like, ‘hey homeboy you’re not gonna match that energy.’
“This guy’s from the streets of Uhrichsville, Ohio. This guy has been stabbed, he’s had teeth in his knuckles, as a teenager he’s had to fight grown-ass men. That’s a Mike Tyson mentality that Cody has. Mentally, he lives off that stuff. He gets hyped up. He’s like, ‘Oh you’re talking s***? You talking crap about my friends? Let’s meet behind the school at the flagpole. You bring your friends, I’ll bring mine. It’s a fight.’ He loves that kind of stuff. It’s gonna be tough for somebody to get in Cody’s head. His mentality couldn’t have been better.”
Garbrandt clowned Cruz as mercilessly during the fight as Cruz had mocked him pre fight. Garbrandt even bust out some hip hop moves at one point. The coach hadn’t planned that, but he appreciated it.
“I knew he had some club moves, but I’ve never seen him like that,” said Buchholz. “That was amazing. I was saying this before, this is the only fight where I ever sat back and enjoyed one of my fighter’s works. I just sat back in the fourth round after he dropped him for the third time and just – he’s comfortable in there, he’s putting on a performance and I was just cheering for him. At one point, me and Danny Castillo started yelling at Cruz. I’ve never done that in a fight. It was just amazing to watch.”