ByJason Nawara, writer at
Jason Nawara

Little by little, the next generation of fighter is making their presence known in MMA. It comes in waves, you see. Generational talent that rises to the top supplants the heroes of old, and there's nothing we can do about it. For every Mark Hunt, one of Pride's last standing warriors, there are the Chuck Liddells, the Rich Franklins, even the Anderson Silvas of the world that are slowly disappearing into the retired life. We saw Urijah Faber bid adieu to the Octagon last weekend, now Cody Garbrandt, his Team Alpha Male pupil, is looking to accelerate Dominick Cruz's path to the post-fight life.

Garbrandt is young and hungry. He's 25-years-old, and undefeated. At , he gets a shot at the man who has been the king of the bantamweight division for as long as the 135 pound division has existed, and Garbrandt doesn't believe Cruz is taking him seriously. In fact, he thinks Cruz is on his way out.

"He's going into the next chapter, getting ready for that. I think he's losing focus. He's working two weeks before the fight, breaking down all these fights... You got me in front of ya. You should be solely focused on me."

He's not wrong. Garbrandt has finished every fighter in front of him save one. But Cruz is a different animal. Even at 31-years-old and with only 3 fights in the last 5 years due to various serious injuries, is a master of footwork and making his opponent look foolish. sees it another way.

It's a fascinating time in the fight game. Is another sea change on the horizon, or will the established vet and star be able to stick around a little longer?


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