Dominick Cruz

The Dominator


Knocked out by Marlon Vera
August 13, 2022
Cruz lost to Marlon Vera via KO (head kick) at 2:17 of Round 4 at UFC on ESPN 41 on Saturday in San Diego.
It's just the second knockout defeat of Cruz's storied career and his first since a 2020 loss at the hands of Henry Cejudo. Dom started very fast, using his speed and legendary footwork to throw a ton of volume and control the pace of the fight for the first two rounds. That said, he had difficulty with the power of Vera the entire fight. He was knocked down three times in total, once in Round 1 and twice in Round 4, including the stoppage. Cruz has never had durability issues in the past, so that gives you an idea of how hard Vera hits. The finish came when Dom ducked his head to the side and got crushed full bore right in the face with a kick from Marlon. It was clear he was finished and referee Herb Dean wasted no time stepping in. It's clear that Cruz still possesses many of the skills that have made him a future first-ballot Hall of Famer, but he's now 37 years old, and it's going to be impossible for him to compete against top-flight competition if his durability is starting to wane even just a little bit. He also appeared to suffer a broken nose in this one, which could sideline him for an even longer period of time.
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Vera up next
June 5, 2022
Cruz will fight Marlon Vera in a bantamweight fight at a UFC event on August 13, Carlos Contreras Legaspi of ESPN reports.
The August bout will be Cruz's first Fight Night since 2016, when he defeated TJ Dillashaw. Cruz is facing a 2.5 inch reach disadvantage, though he and Vera both stand at the same 5-foot-8. Both fighters enter the bout coming off win streaks, with Cruz reigning victorious in two straight and Vera having won three consecutive. Cruz will likely try to take the fight to the canvas, averaging 2.88 takedown attempts per 15 minutes, successfully landing on 43% of attempts.
Finds range after slow start
December 11, 2021
Cruz defeated Pedro Munhoz via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC 269 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
It was a tale of two different bouts for Cruz. He found himself on the verge of being stopped in the opening frame after Munhoz landed a few massive shots, but Dom somehow survived and completely turned the tide over the course of the final ten minutes. He threw plenty of volume and used his trademark footwork and head movement to pick Munhoz apart on the feet. The Brazilian was able to get nothing going while Dominick continued to land seemingly everything. The 36-year-old Cruz has still never lost a non-title fight in his storied career. There are plenty of intriguing bouts for him at 135 pounds as the calendar quickly pushes towards 2022. In addition to gaining momentum, Cruz will also take home an extra $50,000 after this matchup was awarded Fight of the Night honors.
Will face Munhoz at UFC 269
September 29, 2021
Cruz will take on Pedro Munhoz in a bantamweight bout on December 11, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA reports.
Coming off his first victory since 2016 when he defeated Casey Kenney via split decision at UFC 259, the 36-year-old Cruz will make his second appearance of the year against Pedro Munhoz on Dec. 11. While contracts have not yet been finalized, multiple sources have reported that verbal agreements are in place. Cruz is currently the No. 14 ranked bantamweight in the UFC and will look to improve his position in the rankings come December.
First win in 1,736 days
March 6, 2021
Cruz defeated Casey Kenney via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27) at UFC 259 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
It's Cruz first victory in 1,736 days. His most recent victory prior to Saturday came at UFC 199 on June 4, 2016 against Urijah Faber. This one didn't come easy. As usual, Cruz was constantly on the move trying to give Kenney different looks. He also went for several takedowns early in the fight which failed, before scoring on a couple big ones to secure the win late in Round 3. Kenney was able to match Dom's cardio through the better part of two rounds, but it was the veteran who began to pull away in the final frame. Cruz's biggest issue in this fight was the leg kicks of Kenney. The 30-27 scorecard is a tad misleading because Kenney almost certainly deserved to win Round 2, but Cruz deserved to win the fight and the judges ultimately got it right. Joe Rogan made a good point before the fight began. He essentially said that Cruz's mind is one of the brightest in the history of the sport and he knows exactly what he wants to do at all times inside the Octagon, but the question is whether or not his body can react quickly enough. Dom turns 36 years of age in just three days, and his injury history is legendary. Cruz is going to have to get back in the Octagon soon if he wants to make one more run at 135 pounds.
Slated to fight at UFC 259
December 5, 2020
Cruz will face Casey Kenney in a bantamweight matchup at UFC 259 on March 6, reports.
Cruz has contended for the bantamweight title over the past four years, but he's now lost his last two fights dating back to 2016. The 35-year-old most recently lost to Henry Cejudo via TKO (punches) at UFC 249 in May. He'll take on Kenney, who has won his last three matchups, most recently defeating Nathaniel Wood via unanimous decision at UFC 254 in October. Cruz has a slight advantage in height, but the two fighters are even in reach.