Dominick Cruz

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Dominick Cruz
(Dominick Cruz after retaining his WEC Bantamweight Championship at WEC 50)
Born Dominick Rojelio Cruz
(1985-09-03) September 3, 1985 (age 30)
San Diego, California, USA
Other names The Dominator
Residence Chula Vista, California[1]
Nationality Mexican-American
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight 135 lb (61 kg; 9.6 st)
Division Bantamweight (2008–present)
Featherweight (2006–2008)
Lightweight (2005–2006)
Reach 68.0 in (173 cm)[2]
Style Wrestling, Boxing, BJJ
Stance Orthodox
Fighting out of Chula Vista, California[1]
Team Alliance MMA
Rank Blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu[3]
Years active 2005–Present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 21
Wins 20
By knockout 7
By submission 1
By decision 12
Losses 1
By submission 1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Dominick Rojelio Cruz (born September 3, 1985)[4] is a Mexican-American mixed martial artist born in San Diego, CA, and raised in Tucson, AZ. He competes as a bantamweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is a former UFC Bantamweight Champion, and former WEC Bantamweight Champion. He is also an MMA analyst for Fox Sports. As of November 23, 2015, he is #1 in the official UFC bantamweight rankings.[5]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Cruz began his professional MMA career fighting in the Rage in the Cage and Total Combat organizations.

World Extreme Cagefighting[edit]

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. He would then make his debut for WEC's 135 lb Bantamweight division at WEC 34 defeating Charlie Valencia by unanimous decision and would go on to show domination of the 135 lb Bantamweight division beating the likes of Ian McCall, Ivan Lopez and handing top contender Joseph Benavidez his first loss at WEC 42 winning all bouts by unanimous decision and winning Fight of the Night honors in his bout versus Benavidez.[6]

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.[7]

Cruz made his first title defense against Joseph Benavidez on August 18, 2010 at WEC 50.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10] Cruz defeated Jorgensen via unanimous decision (50–45, 50–45, 50–45), to retain the WEC Bantamweight Championship and become the first UFC Bantamweight Champion.[11]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

On October 28, 2010, World Extreme Cagefighting merged with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As part of the merger, all WEC fighters were transferred to the UFC.[12]

A rematch with Urijah Faber took place on July 2, 2011 at UFC 132 being the first defense of the new UFC Bantamweight title.[13] 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.[14][15]

Cruz defeated Demetrious Johnson via unanimous decision on October 1, 2011 at UFC on Versus 6, his second UFC title defense. 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.[16]

In December 2011, Cruz was selected to coach the The Ultimate Fighter: Live against opposing coach Urijah Faber.[17] The rubber match between Cruz and Faber was expected to take place on July 7, 2012 at UFC 148.[18] However, on May 7, 2012, Cruz was forced to pull out of the bout citing a torn ACL.[19]

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.[20]

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.[21] 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.[22]

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.[23] Cruz won the fight by KO in the first round by punches after getting a takedown and landed several punches against the cage.[24] The win also earned Cruz his first Performance of the Night bonus award.[25] At the post-fight press conference, Dana White confirmed that Cruz's next fight would be for the Bantamweight Championship against T.J. Dillashaw.

Subsequently, on December 22, 2014, Cruz indicated that he had torn the ACL in his other knee, which is expected to sideline him throughout much of 2015.[26]

Cruz is expected to face current UFC champion T.J. Dillashaw on January 17, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 81.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Cruz's father is of Mexican descent. He lived with his mother and brother in Tucson, where he attended Flowing Wells High School. In September 2012, he was inducted into the Flowing Wells Athletic Hall of Fame. He worked as a customer service representative and was studying to be a firefighter at a community college before becoming a full-time fighter.[28]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

  • Total Combat
    • Total Combat Lightweight Championship (One time)
    • Total Combat Featherweight Championship (One time)

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
T.J. Dillashaw UFC Fight Night 81 January 17, 2016 Boston, Massachusetts, United States For the Undisputed UFC Bantamweight Championship
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 stripped due to 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; 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. Doctor stoppage due to broken hand.
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 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: Faber vs. Pulver June 1, 2008 3 5:00 Sacramento, California, United States Bantamweight Debut.
Win 10–1 Kenneth Aimes TKO (punches) Total Combat 27 March 22, 2008 1 N/A Yuma, Arizona, United States
Loss 9–1 Urijah Faber Submission (guillotine choke) WEC 26: Condit vs. Alessio 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 Decision (unanimous) Rage in the Cage 75 September 30, 2005 3 3:00 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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Print Fight Card - UFC 178 Johnson vs. Cariaso". Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  3. ^ Nick Caron (July 3, 2011). "UFC 132: Did Dominick Cruz Take a Shot at Urijah Faber with Blue Belt Promotion?". Bleacher Report. 
  4. ^ "Dominick Cruz ("The Dominator") | MMA Fighter Page | Tapology". Tapology. Retrieved 2015-11-26. 
  5. ^ UFC Fighter Rankings
  6. ^ Morgan, John (August 10, 2009). "WEC 42 bonuses: Cruz, Benavidez, Bowles and Yahya earn $10K "fight night" awards". Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Brian Bowles defends bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz at WEC 47 on March 6". 2009-12-11. 
  8. ^ "Cruz vs Benavidez For The Title In August". 2010-06-08. 
  9. ^ "WEC 53 title doubleheader features Henderson vs. Pettis, Cruz vs. Jorgensen". 2010-09-27. 
  10. ^ "WEC 53: Dominick Cruz, Scott Jorgensen Fight To Be First UFC Bantamweight Champion". December 14, 2010. 
  11. ^ WEC 53 play by play and live results. December 16, 2010
  12. ^ "UFC and WEC set to merge in 2011; events to air on Versus and Spike TV". October 28, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Champ Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber II booked for UFC 132". 2011-03-26. 
  14. ^ "UFC 132 Play-by-Play: Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber". 2011-06-30. 
  15. ^ Iole, Kevin. (2012-02-26) UFC 132: Cruz claims rematch over Faber – UFC – Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved on 2012-03-03.
  16. ^ Cofield, Steve (October 1, 2011). "Cruz digs deep to retain his 135-pound title at UFC on Versus 6". Yahoo!. Retrieved October 2, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Dominick Cruz, Urijah Faber Selected as Coaches of Next Ultimate Fighter Season". December 6, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Champ Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber III targeted for UFC 148 in Las Vegas". February 10, 2012. 
  19. ^ Martin, Damon (May 7, 2012). "Dominick Cruz Injured, Out of UFC 148". Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  20. ^ "UFC Champ Dominick Cruz's Return Pushed Back By Second ACL Surgery". 2012-12-03. 
  21. ^ Staff. "Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas, Dominick Cruz vs. Renan Barao set for UFC 169". Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  22. ^ Staff. "Dominick Cruz withdraws from fight". Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  23. ^ Erickson, Matt (2014-07-08). "Dominick Cruz set for return at UFC 178 vs. Takeya Mizugaki". Retrieved 2014-07-08. 
  24. ^ Fowlkes, Ben (2014-09-27). "Dominick Cruz finally returns for quick TKO of Takeya Mizugaki". Retrieved 2014-09-27. 
  25. ^ Matt Erickson (2014-09-28). "UFC 178 bonuses: McGregor, Cruz, Romero, Kennedy earn $50,000". Retrieved 2014-09-28. 
  26. ^ Damon Martin (2014-12-22). "Dominick Cruz suffers another ACL injury, timeline for return unknown". Retrieved 2014-12-22. 
  27. ^ Damon Martin (2015-09-09). "TJ Dillashaw vs. Dominick Cruz headlines UFC Fight Night in Boston". Retrieved 2015-09-09. 
  28. ^ Dominick Cruz – Official UFC® Fighter Profile. (2012-02-27). Retrieved on 2012-03-03.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Brian Bowles
5th WEC Bantamweight Champion
March 6, 2010 – December 16, 2010
Title last held by
First Champion
1st UFC Bantamweight Champion
December 16, 2010 – Jan 06, 2014
Succeeded by
Renan Barão