Cody Garbrandt pointed at the middle of the ring many times on Friday night, but the only time that mattered was when his hand was raised as the new bantamweight champion.

Garbrandt outclassed — and outdanced — Dominick Cruz in the octagon to claim the UFC bantamweight belt by unanimous decision 48-46, 48-47, 48-46 on the three judges scorecards. Garbrandt surely has no issue with standing and trading shots with any fighter and he put that on display on Friday in Las Vegas.

Garbrandt and Cruz danced a bit with each trying to find the opening for the knockout blow. Cruz is known for creating difficult angles, but props to Garbrandt for working his way through that and landing as necessary.

The two also put on one of the more entertaining fights from a smacktalk perspective, with Garbrandt pop, lock and dropping in between exchanges.

After the win, Garbrandt gave the belt to his No. 1 fan and fulfilled a promise.


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