Cruz during a USO show in 2017
|Born||Dominick Rojelio Cruz|
March 9, 1985
Tucson, Arizona, United States
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight||135 lb (61 kg; 9.6 st)|
|Division||Bantamweight (2008–present) |
|Reach||68 in (173 cm)|
|Style||Muay Thai, Wrestling, BJJ|
|Fighting out of||San Diego, California, United States|
|Rank||Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Brandon VeraBlue belt in|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Dominick Rojelio Cruz (born March 9, 1985 in Tucson, Arizona) is an American mixed martial artist. He fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and is a two-time UFC Bantamweight Champion. Cruz was also the final bantamweight titleholder of World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC).
Known as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in mixed martial arts (MMA), Cruz is noted for his unorthodox movement, powerful wrestling base, quick striking, and his tendency to attack from angles in a unique fashion unlike any other fighter on the UFC roster. He won the WEC bantamweight title in March 2010, and won the inaugural UFC Bantamweight Championship the following December. After defending the belt twice in 2011, Cruz was sidelined by injuries in 2012 and subsequently stripped of the title in 2014. On January 17, 2016, he regained the bantamweight championship with a split-decision win over T.J. Dillashaw. Numerous media outlets called this victory the greatest comeback story in MMA history. As of July 26, 2018, he is #2 in the official UFC Bantamweight rankings.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Fighting style
- 4 Championships and accomplishments
- 5 Mixed martial arts record
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Cruz is of Mexican descent. He lived with his single mother, grandmother and brother in a trailer park in Tucson for most of his childhood. He attended Flowing Wells High School, and competed in amateur wrestling.
He worked as a customer service representative at Lowe's home improvement store #1707, and was studying to be a firefighter at community college before becoming a full-time fighter.
In addition to fighting, Cruz is an MMA analyst for Fox Sports.
Early mixed martial arts career
Cruz began his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career in 2005, competing in the Rage in the Cage and Total Combat organizations. He amassed a record of 9-0 before joining World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC).
World Extreme Cagefighting
His first fight in the WEC was at featherweight in a title fight against Urijah Faber in which he lost by guillotine choke in the first round. The fight would become the beginning of a longstanding cantankerous rivalry between the two.
Cruz defeated Brian Bowles via TKO (doctor stoppage) on March 6, 2010, at WEC 47. Bowles was unable to continue after the second round after breaking his hand. Cruz became the new WEC Bantamweight Champion.
Cruz made his first title defense against Joseph Benavidez on August 18, 2010, at WEC 50. Cruz broke his left hand in the fight. The bout was a rematch of their contest at WEC 42, in which Cruz handed Benavidez his first career loss, via decision. Cruz defeated Benavidez again via split decision.
Cruz faced Scott Jorgensen on December 16, 2010, at WEC 53 for both the WEC Bantamweight Championship and the newly created UFC Bantamweight Championship. This bout would be the final Bantamweight Championship fight under the WEC banner and would also crown the inaugural UFC Bantamweight champion, making this the only UFC title fight to take place outside of the UFC. Cruz defeated Jorgensen via unanimous decision to retain the WEC Bantamweight Championship and become the first UFC Bantamweight Champion.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
A rematch with Urijah Faber took place on July 2, 2011, at UFC 132 being the first defense of the new UFC Bantamweight title. In a closely contested fight which saw Faber drop Cruz multiple times with strikes and Cruz landing multiple leg\body kicks, knees and takedowns, Cruz defeated Faber via unanimous decision to retain his championship and avenge the only loss on his record at that time.
Cruz defeated Demetrious Johnson via unanimous decision on October 1, 2011, at UFC on Versus 6, his second UFC title defense. Cruz broke his right hand in the first round. Cruz was expected to face Urijah Faber for a third time for the UFC bantamweight championship after Faber defeated Brian Bowles at UFC 139 in a bantamweight title eliminator bout.
String of injuries
In December 2011, Cruz was selected to coach The Ultimate Fighter: Live against opposing coach Urijah Faber. The rubber match between Cruz and Faber was expected to take place on July 7, 2012, at UFC 148. However, on May 7, 2012, Cruz was forced to pull out of the bout citing a torn ACL.
On December 3, 2012, it was revealed that Cruz underwent another ACL surgery after his body rejected one from a cadaver, with an expected recovery time of six to nine months.
Cruz was scheduled to make his return on February 1, 2014, at UFC 169 in a unification bout with interim UFC Bantamweight Champion Renan Barão. However, on a January 6 episode of SportsCenter, UFC president Dana White announced that Dominick Cruz had torn his groin and vacated the UFC Bantamweight Championship; White promoted Barão to undisputed UFC Bantamweight Champion, and announced that Barão's first unified title defense would be against Urijah Faber at UFC 169.
After nearly three years away from the sport due to injuries, Cruz returned to the octagon on September 27, 2014, at UFC 178 where he faced Takeya Mizugaki. Cruz won the fight by KO in the first round by punches after getting a takedown. The win also earned Cruz his first Performance of the Night bonus award. At the post-fight press conference, Dana White confirmed that Cruz's next fight would be for the Bantamweight Championship against T.J. Dillashaw.
Regaining the championship
After over four years since his last title fight, Cruz faced T.J. Dillashaw on January 17, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 81. He regained the title with a split-decision victory. Both participants were awarded Fight of the Night honors. Many have cited the return and victory as one of the greatest comebacks in MMA history.
Losing the title
Cruz faced Cody Garbrandt on December 30, 2016, at UFC 207. Garbrandt won the fight by unanimous decision to become the new UFC Bantamweight Champion. This was the first loss for Cruz in nearly 10 years. Months later, on The Joe Rogan Experience, Cruz revealed that he was plagued by plantar fascia tendinitis throughout training camp that made it difficult for him to walk at times.
Cruz combines constant lateral motion with precise, in-and-out striking. Known as one of the most agile fighters in MMA, he is noted for his quick footwork, head movement, and use of feints. He often attacks with combinations, step-in jabs, and single strikes thrown from angles. In addition to his striking, Cruz has extensive training in amateur wrestling.
Championships and accomplishments
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- UFC Bantamweight Championship (first; two times)
- Three successful title defenses (two during first reign, one during second reign)
- Fight of the Night (three times) vs. Urijah Faber, T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt
- Performance of the Night (one time) vs. Takeya Mizugaki
- Most wins in UFC/WEC Bantamweight History (12)
- World Extreme Cagefighting
- Total Combat
- Total Combat Lightweight Championship
- Total Combat Featherweight Championship
- USA Today
- 2010 Fighter of the Year
- World MMA Awards
- 2014 Comeback Fighter of the Year
- 2015 Analyst of the Year
- 2016 Analyst of the Year
- 2017 Analyst of the Year
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|24 matches||22 wins||2 losses|
|Loss||22–2||Cody Garbrandt||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 207||December 30, 2016||5||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Lost the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Fight of the Night.|
|Win||22–1||Urijah Faber||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 199||June 4, 2016||5||5:00||Inglewood, California, United States||Defended the UFC Bantamweight Championship.|
|Win||21–1||T.J. Dillashaw||Decision (split)||UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz||January 17, 2016||5||5:00||Boston, Massachusetts, United States||Won the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Fight of the Night.|
|Win||20–1||Takeya Mizugaki||KO (punches)||UFC 178||September 27, 2014||1||1:01||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||19–1||Demetrious Johnson||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Live: Cruz vs. Johnson||October 1, 2011||5||5:00||Washington D.C., United States||Defended the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Later vacated due to recurring injuries.|
|Win||18–1||Urijah Faber||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 132||July 2, 2011||5||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Defended the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Fight of the Night.|
|Win||17–1||Scott Jorgensen||Decision (unanimous)||WEC 53||December 16, 2010||5||5:00||Glendale, Arizona, United States||Defended the WEC Bantamweight Championship, and won the UFC Bantamweight Championship.|
|Win||16–1||Joseph Benavidez||Decision (split)||WEC 50||August 18, 2010||5||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Defended the WEC Bantamweight Championship.|
|Win||15–1||Brian Bowles||TKO (doctor stoppage)||WEC 47||March 6, 2010||2||5:00||Columbus, Ohio, United States||Won the WEC Bantamweight Championship.|
|Win||14–1||Joseph Benavidez||Decision (unanimous)||WEC 42||August 9, 2009||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||13–1||Iván López||Technical Decision (unanimous)||WEC 40||April 5, 2009||3||3:24||Chicago, Illinois, United States||Lopez was unable to continue after an unintentional knee on the ground by Cruz.|
|Win||12–1||Ian McCall||Decision (unanimous)||WEC 38||January 25, 2009||3||5:00||San Diego, California, United States|
|Win||11–1||Charlie Valencia||Decision (unanimous)||WEC 34||June 1, 2008||3||5:00||Sacramento, California, United States||Bantamweight debut.|
|Win||10–1||Kenneth Aimes||KO (punches)||Total Combat 27||March 22, 2008||1||N/A||Yuma, Arizona, United States|
|Loss||9–1||Urijah Faber||Submission (guillotine choke)||WEC 26||March 24, 2007||1||1:38||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||For the WEC Featherweight Championship.|
|Win||9–0||Shad Smith||Decision (unanimous)||Total Combat 18||November 4, 2006||3||5:00||San Diego, California, United States||Featherweight debut. Won the vacant Total Combat Featherweight Championship.|
|Win||8–0||Juan Miranda||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Total Combat 16||September 9, 2006||1||4:00||San Diego, California, United States||Won the vacant Total Combat Lightweight Championship.|
|Win||7–0||Dave Hisquierdo||Decision (split)||Total Combat 15||July 15, 2006||3||5:00||San Diego, California, United States|
|Win||6–0||Michael Barney||TKO (punches)||Rage in the Cage 79||February 24, 2006||1||2:45||Tucson, Arizona, United States|
|Win||5–0||Nick Hedrick||KO (punches)||Rage in the Cage 75||September 30, 2005||3||2:00||Glendale, Arizona, United States|
|Win||4–0||Josh Donahue||TKO (punches)||Rage in the Cage 74||September 10, 2005||2||1:09||Casa Grande, Arizona, United States|
|Win||3–0||Tom Schwager||TKO (punches)||Rage in the Cage 73||August 6, 2005||1||0:56||Glendale, Arizona, United States|
|Win||2–0||Rosco McClellan||TKO (punches)||Rage in the Cage 70||June 11, 2005||2||1:26||Glendale, Arizona, United States|
|Win||1–0||Eddie Castro||Decision (split)||Rage in the Cage 67||January 29, 2005||3||3:00||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
- List of current UFC fighters
- List of male mixed martial artists
- Ultimate Fighting Championship Pound for Pound rankings
- Sherdog.com. "Dominick". Sherdog. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
- "Print Fight Card - UFC 178 Johnson vs. Cariaso". UFC.com. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
- Caron, Nick (July 3, 2011). "UFC 132: Did Dominick Cruz Take a Shot at Urijah Faber with Blue Belt Promotion?". Bleacher Report.
- "Dominick Cruz ("The Dominator") | MMA Fighter Page | Tapology". Tapology. Retrieved 2015-11-26.
- "DominatorCruz | Dominick Cruz Verified Facebook Page". Facebook. Retrieved 2015-06-01.
- Stets, Michael (2016-01-18). "UFC Fight Night 81 results: Dominick Cruz delivers vintage performance, defeats T.J. Dillashaw to regain Bantamweight belt". MSN.com. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
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- "UFC Fight Night 81 Results: Dominick Cruz Regains Title with Split Decision Over TJ Dillashaw". Yahoo.com. 2016-01-18. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
- "Fighter Rankings | UFC ®". UFC. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
- Twitter.com https://twitter.com/DominickCruz/status/751159574657265664. Retrieved 1 May 2018. Missing or empty
- Matherjan, Victor (2016-01-15). "Wrestlers Find Well-Worn Path to U.F.C. Title Bout". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
- "Dominick Cruz – Official UFC® Fighter Profile". UFC.com. 2012-02-27. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- "Dominick Cruz". Sherdog. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
- Morgan, John (August 10, 2009). "WEC 42 bonuses: Cruz, Benavidez, Bowles and Yahya earn $10K "fight night" awards". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
- "Brian Bowles defends bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz at WEC 47 on March 6". MMAJunkie.com. 2009-12-11. Archived from the original on 2009-12-15.
- "Cruz vs Benavidez For The Title In August". MMAweekly.com. 2010-06-08.
- "Gross Picture of the Day: Dominick Cruz's Hand". CagePotato.
- "WEC 53 title doubleheader features Henderson vs. Pettis, Cruz vs. Jorgensen". MMAJunkie.com. 2010-09-27. Archived from the original on 2010-09-30.
- "WEC 53: Dominick Cruz, Scott Jorgensen Fight To Be First UFC Bantamweight Champion". SBNation.com. December 14, 2010.
- "WEC 53 play by play and live results". MMAjunkie.com. December 16, 2010.
- "UFC and WEC set to merge in 2011; events to air on Versus and Spike TV". MMAJunkie.com. October 28, 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-10-31.
- "Champ Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber II booked for UFC 132". MMAJunkie.com. 2011-03-26.
- "UFC 132 Play-by-Play: Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber". MMAweekly.com. 2011-06-30.
- Iole, Kevin (2012-02-26). "UFC 132: Cruz claims rematch over Faber". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- "UFC Quick Quote: Dominick Cruz Beat Demetrious Johnson With A Broken Hand *VIDEO*".
- Cofield, Steve (October 1, 2011). "Cruz digs deep to retain his 135-pound title at UFC on Versus 6". Yahoo.com. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- "Dominick Cruz, Urijah Faber Selected as Coaches of Next Ultimate Fighter Season". MMAFighting.com. December 6, 2011.
- "Champ Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber III targeted for UFC 148 in Las Vegas". MMAJunkie.com. February 10, 2012.
- Martin, Damon (May 7, 2012). "Dominick Cruz Injured, Out of UFC 148". MMAWeekly.com. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
- "UFC Champ Dominick Cruz's Return Pushed Back By Second ACL Surgery". MMAJunkie.com. 2012-12-03.
- "Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas, Dominick Cruz vs. Renan Barao set for UFC 169". MMAJunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
- "Dominick Cruz withdraws from fight". ESPN.go.com. Retrieved 2014-01-06.
- Erickson, Matt (2014-07-08). "Dominick Cruz set for return at UFC 178 vs. Takeya Mizugaki". MMAJunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- Fowlkes, Ben (2014-09-27). "Dominick Cruz finally returns for quick TKO of Takeya Mizugaki". MMAJunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-09-27.
- Erickson, Matt (2014-09-28). "UFC 178 bonuses: McGregor, Cruz, Romero, Kennedy earn $50,000". MMAJunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-09-28.
- Martin, Damon (2014-12-22). "Dominick Cruz suffers another ACL injury, timeline for return unknown". foxsports.com. Retrieved 2014-12-22.
- Brookhouse, Brent (2016-01-18). "UFC Fight Night 81 results: Dominick Cruz regains title with split over T.J. Dillashaw". MMAJunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
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- "UFC 199 results: Dominant again, Dominick Cruz retains 135 title with decision over Urijah Faber". MMAJunkie.com. 2016-06-05.
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- Mills, George (2017-02-26). "Dominick Cruz reveals horrific injury left him unable to WALK before Cody Garbrandt fight". Daily Star. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
- "Dominick Cruz injured, out of UFC 219 fight vs. Jimmie Rivera". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
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- "UFC 207 bonuses: Nunes, Garbrandt, Cruz, Garcia receive $50K awards". sherdog.com. 2016-12-30.
- "UFC 178 bonuses: McGregor, Cruz, Romero, Kennedy earn $50K rewards". sherdog.com. 2014-09-27.
- "WEC 42 bonuses and awards". MMAMania.com. 2009-08-10.
| 5th WEC Bantamweight Champion
March 6, 2010 – December 16, 2010
Became UFC Champion
Title last held byFirst Champion
| 1st UFC Bantamweight Champion
December 16, 2010 – Jan 06, 2014
| 4th UFC Bantamweight Champion
January 17, 2016 – December 30, 2016