Dominick Cruz is a name synonymous with the UFC, known for his unparalleled skills and record-breaking performances in the octagon. He is a former two-time UFC bantamweight champion who has had a long and eventful career spanning over a decade. In this article, we will take a closer look at the life and career of Dominick Cruz, from his humble beginnings to his rise to fame and eventual downfall.
Early Life and Career
Dominick Cruz was born on March 9, 1985, in Tucson, Arizona. He grew up in a family of athletes, with his mother being a ballerina and his father a wrestler. Cruz followed in his father’s footsteps and started wrestling at a young age, eventually becoming a standout high school wrestler.
After high school, Cruz enrolled in the community college and joined the wrestling team. However, he soon discovered his love for MMA and began training in the sport. He made his professional debut in 2005, winning his first three fights via submission.
Joining the UFC
Cruz caught the attention of the UFC and was offered a contract in 2007. He made his UFC debut at UFC 74, defeating his opponent via unanimous decision. Cruz went on to win his next three fights in the UFC, showcasing his well-rounded skills and impressive footwork.
The Rise to Fame
Cruz’s rise to fame began in 2010 when he was scheduled to fight Brian Bowles for the bantamweight title at WEC 47. Cruz defeated Bowles via TKO in the second round, becoming the new WEC bantamweight champion.
When the UFC merged with the WEC, Cruz became the first-ever UFC bantamweight champion, defeating Scott Jorgensen at UFC 126. Cruz’s unique fighting style, characterized by his elusive footwork and unorthodox striking, made him a fan favorite and earned him the nickname “The Dominator.”
First Championship Reign
Cruz successfully defended his title against top contenders such as Urijah Faber, Demetrious Johnson, and Joseph Benavidez. However, Cruz’s championship reign was cut short due to a series of unfortunate injuries.
In 2012, Cruz suffered a torn ACL, which forced him to relinquish his title and take a two-year hiatus from the sport. Cruz returned to the octagon in 2014 but was once again sidelined due to another ACL injury, which kept him out of action for another year.
Despite his injury woes, Cruz was determined to make a comeback. He returned to the octagon in 2016 and defeated TJ Dillashaw to reclaim his bantamweight title, marking one of the greatest comebacks in UFC history.
Second Championship Reign
Cruz successfully defended his title against top contenders such as Urijah Faber and Cody Garbrandt. However, his second championship reign was once again cut short due to injury.
In 2017, Cruz suffered a broken arm during his fight against Garbrandt, which forced him to take another extended break from the sport.
Cruz suffered a devastating loss to Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207, which marked his first loss in over a decade. The defeat was a major setback for Cruz, and he struggled to regain his form in his subsequent fights.
Cruz suffered another loss to Henry Cejudo at UFC 249, which marked the end of his championship aspirations. Despite his immense talent and skill, Cruz’s injury woes and age caught up with him, and he was unable to keep up with the younger and more athletic fighters in the division.
Following his loss to Cejudo, there has been speculation about Cruz’s retirement from the sport. While Cruz has not made any official announcement about his retirement, many fans and analysts believe that he should hang up his gloves and focus on other endeavors.
Fighting Style and Techniques
Dominick Cruz is a former two-time UFC Bantamweight Champion. He is known for his incredible footwork, head movement, and striking ability. Cruz is considered to be one of the best MMA fighters of all time.
Cruz’s fighting style is based on constant movement and elusiveness. He uses his footwork to stay out of range of his opponents and to create angles for his strikes. He also has excellent head movement, which allows him to avoid punches and counter with his own strikes. Cruz’s striking is very precise and technical. He is a master of combinations and he can land punches from all angles. He is also a good wrestler, but he prefers to keep the fight standing.
Cruz’s fighting style has made him one of the most difficult fighters to beat in the UFC. He has only lost four times in his career, and all of those losses have come by decision. Cruz is a true champion and he is a joy to watch.
Here are some of the key aspects of Dominick Cruz’s fighting style:
- Footwork: Cruz has some of the best footwork in MMA. He is constantly moving and he is very difficult to hit. He uses his footwork to stay out of range of his opponents and to create angles for his strikes.
- Head movement: Cruz has excellent head movement. He is very good at avoiding punches and he can counter with his own strikes.
- Striking: Cruz’s striking is very precise and technical. He is a master of combinations and he can land punches from all angles. He is also a good wrestler, but he prefers to keep the fight standing.
- Elusiveness: Cruz is very elusive. He is difficult to hit and he is very good at avoiding damage. This makes him a very dangerous fighter.
Overall, Dominick Cruz is a very well-rounded fighter with a unique style. He is a master of footwork, head movement, and striking. He is also a good wrestler, but he prefers to keep the fight standing. Cruz is a true champion and he is a joy to watch.
Despite his recent setbacks, Cruz’s legacy in the sport is secure. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest bantamweights of all time, with a record of 22 wins and 4 losses.
Cruz’s unique fighting style and impressive record have earned him a legion of fans and a place in the UFC Hall of Fame.
Impact on the Sport
Cruz’s impact on the sport of MMA cannot be overstated. His unique fighting style and exceptional skills have inspired a generation of fighters, and many current UFC bantamweights cite Cruz as a major influence.
Cruz’s contributions to the sport have also been recognized by the UFC, with Dana White calling him “one of the most intelligent fighters I’ve ever met.”
Cruz has been involved in several controversies during his career. In 2017, he was involved in a heated exchange with referee Keith Peterson, accusing Peterson of being biased against him during his fight against Cody Garbrandt.
Cruz has also been criticized for his trash-talking and his tendency to be confrontational with his opponents and referees.
Cruz is a private person and has not shared much about his personal life with the public. He has been in a long-term relationship with his girlfriend, Kawa, and the couple has a son together.
Dominick Cruz is a legend of the sport of MMA, with a career spanning over a decade. His unique fighting style and exceptional skills have earned him a place in the UFC Hall of Fame and inspired a generation of fighters.
Despite his recent setbacks, Cruz’s legacy in the sport is secure, and he will always be remembered as one of the greatest bantamweights of all time.
What is Dominick Cruz’s record in the UFC?
Ans: Dominick Cruz’s UFC record is 24 wins and 4 losses. He has won 16 fights by decision, 7 fights by knockout, and 1 fight by submission. He has received Fight of the Night honors 4 times and Performance of the Night honors 3 times.
What is Dominick Cruz’s fighting style?
Ans: Cruz’s fighting style is characterized by his elusive footwork, unorthodox striking, and exceptional grappling skills.
Has Dominick Cruz retired from the UFC?
Ans: Dominick Cruz has not officially announced his retirement from the UFC, but there has been speculation about his future in the sport.
What is Dominick Cruz’s legacy in the UFC?
Ans: Dominick Cruz is widely regarded as one of the greatest bantamweights of all time and has had a significant impact on the sport of MMA.
What controversies has Dominick Cruz been involved in?
Ans: Cruz has been involved in controversies with referees and has been criticized for his trash-talking and confrontational behavior with opponents and referees.