Dominick Cruz is an American Mixed Martial Artist and fights in the bantamweight division. He participates in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, was the final bantamweight titleholder of World Extreme Cagefighting, and is a two-time UFC Bantamweight Champion.
Cruz is predominantly known for his powerful wrestling base, in-and-out striking, and unorthodox movement. He is regarded as one of the most agile fighters in MMA and is able to attack with combinations, step-in jabs, and single strikes thrown from angles.
He began his career in professional mixed martial arts in 2005 and competed in the Rage in the Cage and Total Combat organizations. His debut fight in the World Extreme Cagefighting was at the featherweight class. His title fight was against Urijah Faber, which he lost at the mercy of a guillotine choke. this was the impetus of a long-lasting rivalry that would continue to play out for years to come.
On his road to greatness, Cruz suffered a range of injuries and setbacks that made his victories even more impressive. He underwent ACL surgery in 2012 for the second time after his body rejected the first surgery. This pushed back his return to the game. In 2014, he tore his groin, which put him out of the UFC Bantamweight championship. This prolonged his absence from the sport, which lasted nearly three years. After this string of injuries and hiatus from the ring, he returned to be even more impressive than before.
On January 17, 2016, Cruz fought returned to the ring for his first title fight in over four years. He faced T.J. Dillashaw at UFC Fight Night 81. Here, he regained his title with a split-decision victory where and both fighters were awarded Fight of the Night honors. This is cited by many as one of the greatest comebacks in MMA history. He then went on to defend the title later that year, in June, against Urijah Faber and won the fight unanimously.
In December of the same year, Cruz lost the title of UFC champion in a fight against Cody Garbrandt. The following year, in December, he was expected to take on Jimmie Rivera but was forced to pull back from the fight due to a broken arm. Overall, he has had both an exciting and tumultuous fighting career; he was able to achieve success in the MMA world at the highest level while grappling to overcome multiple serious injuries. This is a sign of not only masterful fighting ability, but character, perseverance, and a relentless spirit.