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Cody Garbrandt Quotes Conor McGregor While Claiming Jeremy Stephens Scratched Him In Backstage Scuffle

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 20: Cody Garbrandt waits for the start of his bantamweight bout against Takeya Mizugaki at the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Garbrandt won by first-round TKO. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

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One of the main talking points in the lead-up to this weekend’s UFC 207 card has been the seemingly short-fused, and somewhat volatile temperament of UFC bantamweight title challenger, Cody Garbrandt, who makes his first attempt to win UFC gold in the co-main event.

Garbrandt, who takes on 135-pound legend Dominick Cruz, has been set off repeatedly by his opponent, who – by the looks of things – has found a way right into the head of the relatively green prospect.

Cody’s unbeaten record and superb knockout ratio have seen him catapulted to a title-shot at the age of 25 but for many, he has shown himself to be lacking in discipline when dealing with this new level of pressure, as evidenced by his abrupt departure from yesterday’s one-on-one interview with Cruz, which can be viewed in full below.

Dominick Cruz is a master at mental warfare and has shown himself on several occasions to be one of the sport’s most astute thinkers. His knack for getting into the head of his young adversary is no doubt done with the intention of provoking an emotional response from “No Love” come fight night, but regardless, he has done a lot to muddy the name of the Alpha Male prospect in the eyes of the fans and – judging from the reactions to the above video – many believe Cody is out of his depth in this one.

On Thursday, at the official weigh-ins, Cody was involved in a backstage tussle with Dominick Cruz’s training partner and UFC featherweight, Jeremy Stephens.

The incident was first reported by several of those in attendance, with many originally believing it to have been a brawl between Cruz and Garbrandt.

In the fallout of this skirmish, MMAFighting spoke to both men concerning what had happened and for the most part, their reactions showed two very different characters.

Jeremy Stephens, who attended the weigh-in alongside Cruz, had this to say;

“I was a little bit further behind, grabbing a couple bags, and I see Dominick getting into it with Cody. The UFC is then, like, OK, you can go over there. So of course, I’m following behind, kinda seeing them get into an altercation. Dom kinda turns around, he’s talking crap and Cody walks away. As I’m doing that, the UFC guys tell me I have to go through a certain door. So I turn my back and I take a couple steps and then I hear someone say, Yeah, you better keep walking. You and your whole team blah blah blah. I look over and it’s Cody approaching me.”

“He’s coming at me fast, like he’s going to push me. I just put my arm out and the security guy picks me up, moves me out. Cody starts getting all hot-headed, screaming, trying to throw his shirt off, trying to fight me. I’m laughing. Like, Hey bro, you better get serious, you’re fighting my teammate tomorrow. I’m here for Dom. Then they broke it up.”

Cody’s account, one received through a text message, was a lot more brief and to-the-point.

“Dude’s a b*tch and scratched my neck with his b*tch nails. He is lucky I had my hands full and was taken from behind by a few people. Cruz knows he can’t beat me so he brings his self-proclaimed savage in and hype man. Like Conor (McGregor) said, who the fook is that guy?”

Strong words from the bantamweight contender.

Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena

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Author: Cillian Cunningham

Lead mixed martial arts writer who can be contacted at cillian@punditarena.com.