(posting in both forums for perspective) Dominic Cruz and TJ Dillashaw are two fighters who's sets of skills are often compared more than any other two fighters in the UFC; largely due to the uniqueness of those sets of skills. However, there were marked differences in the gameplanning and deployment of those sets of skills in UFC 207. By interesting coincidence, both men happened to be matched up with counterparts who, themselves, have similarities to each other in terms of focus. In Dillashaw's fight, he put on a performance that was close to near perfect in terms of how to play the neutral game in MMA. He had no interest in playing Lineker's strongest game and trading hands, opting to use his kicks at range, and through masterful integration of feints, transition to the true focus of his strategy that night: the takedown into ground and pound. John Lineker truly has hands of stone, harder hands than even Garbrant perhaps. Yet never the less Dillashaw never looked to be in any real danger throughout the entire fight; Linekers trigger finger was defused by the fear of the takedown and not knowing what would be coming next. Contrasted to this was the Dom/Cogar fight. After the opening bell and first few exchanges, what stood out to me immediately was that Cruz's head didn't seem to really be in the game. This is a rather amazing thing to say about Dominic Cruz, given his length of performance against world beating competition, and especially given his demonstrated mind for the game, yet never the less, the fact demonstrated itself. He seemed determined to engage Cody in a handfight in Cody's strongest area, and over the next 25 minutes showed basically no deviation or adaptation from this tack. As in many things there are likely a confluences of factors that add up to a single effect; the prefight animosity perhaps engendering some hotheadedness, combined with that ageless champion's pitfall of overlooking an opponent, leading among other things to indulging that hotheadedness, all which resulted in piss poor preparation. Recall that there was another talented fighter with extreme hand speed that Cruz had faced in the past, a one 'Demetrious Johnson', and he won that fight, not by trying to trade hands with the speed ball powerhouse, but by molesting him on the ground with a wrestling heavy gameplan. Garbrandt had no fear of the takedown, and little fear of his hands, and consequently, did not react at all to Doms bump fakes, contenting himself to simply wait for Dom to get closer, whereupon he would unload with full confidence and weight transfer without any second thoughts of being tricked and punished for extending himself. The vital lynchpin that holds the cogs of one machine in place was missing in the other, and so the machine broke down, the expected reactions not happening, and nothing seeming to work. How bout you guys, what did you think about it?