5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) /  135 lb (61 kg; 9 st 9 lb) / Bantamweight


$2 million

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Despite the many unfortunate injuries, Dominick Cruz is still considered by some as an all-time great bantamweight. Although the question also lies, what could have been had Cruz not suffered injuries, how many title defenses would he have achieved?

What made Dominick Cruz one of the best fighters in UFC is his footwork. No other fighter could replicate what Cruz could do and that makes it hard for his opponents to prepare against him.

First Big Test

In the early days of MMA, there were not that many divisions. The divisions usually consist of the bigger weight class so the smaller weight classes were not yet in the UFC. One of the prominent smaller guys was Urijah Faber, he was also the featherweight champion.

In just Cruz’s 10th fight, he fought for the belt against Faber. Cruz was also a young lion at just 22 years old, while Faber was already in his prime. Not only that but Faber had a record of 17-1 going in and has been a champion for quite a while.The fight ended quickly as Faber locked in a guillotine choke that submitted Cruz. It was a huge learning experience for Cruz that made him even better.

Becoming the Bantamweight Champion

After suffering his first loss, one more fight he then decides to move down to the Bantamweight division. Cruz went on to start his legendary title run. He stacked up a five-fight win streak, beating guys like Ian McCall, Joseph Benavidez who went on to become top UFC contenders.

Dominick Cruz fought Brian Bowles for the WEC Bantamweight Champion where he would win via doctor stoppage. Another fight win Joseph Benavidez was booked for the rematch where he would win via split decision.

The UFC then bought WEC where Cruz went on to become the UFC Bantamweight Champion, where he defended his belt the first time against Scott Jorgensen.

Cruz was later given the chance to avenge his only loss against Urijah Faber. Cruz would win pretty decisively and avenge his only loss.

Another great name that Cruz beat was Demetrious Johnson but in DJ’s defense, he was clearly the smaller guy and also was not training full time. DJ went on to break the record for most consecutive title defenses in UFC history and also became the greatest flyweight champion ever.

It is a win that aged well for Cruz’s resume, considering at one point Johnson was just levels above other flyweights.

And then injuries happened, it later forced Cruz to vacate his belt. One fighter that rose dominance was Renan Barao who went on a legendary run of his own. Barao won the vacant belt and was just levels above everyone.


One of the fantasy fights that fans wanted to see was a prime Dominick Cruz fight a prime Renan Barao but unfortunately, we never got to see it. Out of nowhere, TJ Dillashaw shocked the world by beating Barao and winning the Bantamweight Champion.

Cruz was also looking to make his comeback but the UFC needed to gauge where he is in terms of skill and level. The UFC gave him Takeya Mizukagi as a tune-up fight. Cruz finished Mizukagi within the first round. It was also Cruz’s first finish since winning the WEC belt.

It made sense that he would fight for the title that he vacated so the UFC gave him a title shot after against TJ Dillashaw.

Although it was a close fight, Cruz was really impressive considering the injuries that he had gone through. He made Dillashaw miss most of the shots, the fight was close but two judges gave it to Cruz as a split decision win. It is considered as one the biggest comeback in MMA history, considering the up and downs of Cruz’s career.

A trilogy fight for Faber was then booked which did not really make sense. Yes, it would sell since both are household names but Faber did not deserve to fight for title since he was just on a 1 fight win streak. Many wanted Dillashaw to have a rematch since it was close.

Losing the Belt

Cruz dominated all throughout, and Faber was already looking to be the old fighter that is out of his prime.

Faber then predicted that Cody Garbrandt would Cruz, to which the UFC booked. Cody was a young undefeated prospect that time that could potentially be mareketable. At the fight, Garbrandt was an underdog due to lack of experience but he went on to have the peformance of the ages. Cody made the fight look easy and Cruz was just punching air.

The Independent

Injuries then happened that stopped Cruz for fighting for almost 4 years. Due the country’s lockdown, Cruz was offered a title shot as a replacement. He got knocked out by Henry Cejudo.

A year later, Cruz fought Casey Kenny and had an impressive performance. Although the judges gave it a split decision, many thought that it was without a doubt a unanimous decision win for Cruz.

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