Now that the final chapter in the Dominick Cruz/Uriah Faber saga has been written, the bantamweight champion needs a new nemesis and all roads point to Cody Garbrandt.
It is often said amongst analysts and fighters alike that in order to be a big draw in MMA you have to have a rival. Cruz has it all: the personality, mic skills and exciting fighting style.
However, after dominating longtime rival Faber in his UFC 199 title defense "The Dominator" is lacking a foe. It just so happens that Faber's new protege has been on a tear of late as he works his way up the rankings.
The UFC are clearly trying to make Cody "No Love" Garbrandt a big star and it is easy to see why; he is an entertaining fighter with devastating punching power as well as the charismatic element present in all big stars.
Also, he has won all of his nine professional fights, six of them were by KO or TKO. In just nine pro bouts he has caught the attention of the UFC brass. His last fight against Thomas Almeida was the first non-title bantamweight fight to main event a fight card.
It looks like a rivalry between Cruz and Garbrandt could be on the way as the two bantamweights had an altercation very recently. Garbrandt told the story on Team Alpha Male's podcast.
The confrontation occurred backstage at UFC 199 when Cruz emerged from his tent, grabbed his belt and stared Garbrandt down. Cody's response, among other things, was to say, "Keep my belt polished up for me." This moment came after Faber mentioned his teammate in his post-fight interview on that same night.
Honestly I think Garbrandt would be a difficult fight for Cruz. His shots are violent and powerful but they are laser guided. Cruz's elusive style of slipping shots may not be able to deal with Cody's tendency to drop 100 bombs per second.
Having said that, Cruz is a master of his craft and has made some top strikers miss in his time. The stand-up action in this one could make it an absolute show-stealer.
Although, we cannot forget about TJ Dillashaw. I am sure he wants a shot at reclaiming the belt he lost to Cruz. UFC bosses would be crazy if they weren't looking to make a match between Garbrandt and Dillashaw, with the winner facing Cruz for the bantamweight championship.
This would be a great fight for two reasons: both are confident young fighters that put on a show and Dillashaw used to be Faber's apprentice. He has since left Team Alpha Male and some bad blood has developed between them. The animosity would make for an entertaining grudge match.
Whatever happens, it seems Cruz is destined to always feud with a member of Team Alpha Male. Will Cruz eventually square off with Garbrandt? Could we finally see Dillashaw vs. Faber, or is "The California Kid" done with fighting?