Dominick Cruz is now recognized as the UFC bantamweight champion of the world.
Now that, doesn’t suck.
For five rounds, Cruz coasted a seemingly easy, but hard fought decision victory over the always tough Scott Jorgensen. With his wrestling and boxing credentials on full display, Dominick, did everything short of finishing the fight in order to wow the crowd at the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz.
With eight straight wins bolstering his recent success in the professional world of mixed martial arts, Cruz now has a one track mind: beat Urijah Faber.
Those eight straight came on the heels of Cruz’ lone loss in his career, a first-round submission loss to “The California Kid” in March of 2007. The bout was contested as a featherweight affair when Cruz challenged Faber for his 145-pound title. His fancy footwork and lightning quick strikes were on display early, however Urijah moved in for the kill, took Cruz to the ground and eventually locked in a tight guillotine choke to seal the deal, and defend the title.
Now after Faber has since relinquished the title and successfully debuted in Cruz’ 135-pound division with a submission win over Takeya Mizugaki at WEC 52, Dominick has put Urijah back on his hit list for the immediate future.
Though Urijah may have had the edge on Cruz in 2007, Dominick suggests that with his newly improved skill set, not even the “California Kid” could hang with him at this point.
“When I first came in, I have no excuses,” said Cruz following his one sided win over Jorgensen. “[Faber] beat me fair and square that day. He was a better fighter than me that day, but it’s been three years. That was my very first training camp I ever had with my coach, Eric Del Fierro. Before that fight, I was still working a full-time job, and now I can devote every ounce of energy into fighting to become the best fighter I can.
“I just know that I’m a completely different fighter than I was then. My ground game is better. My wrestling is better. My standup is much better. I have weapons everywhere. I just know I’m on another level than him.”
A rumor that has been circulating recently is the possibility of both Faber and Cruz taking the next coaching slots on the new season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, though no word has been made of such a possibility.
Personally, I think Cruz can hang with Urijah–that is, if he’s at 100 percent. Heading into his title clash with Jorgensen, Dominick discussed a lingering hand injury that has been plaguing him for some time now, and while lumps and bruises are the side affects that come along with a brutal sport like mixed martial arts, fighting Urijah Faber at anything less than your best is a bad, bad idea.
So, MMA peeps, what do you make of the news? Sound off in the comment section below.