January 21, 2016 in News
Dominick Cruz has managed to reclaim his UFC bantamweight title in his first match back after a 16 month absence from the sport. The Dominator had previously only fought in one match that lasted only a minute in the last four years, but looked back to his previous best against TJ Dillashaw. Cruz shocked everyone, including the sports betting sites, to take the title with a split decision with the judges who marked him 48-47, 46-49 and 49-46 up against Dillashaw.
Of course recently the UFC Bantamweight titles have caused some of the biggest shocks in the sport, especially with the women’s title. Only a few months ago Holly Holm caused a massive upset when she defeated Ronda Rousey with a head kick knock out within the first minute of the second round. Now Holm looks like a hard opponent to beat, which is why very few betting sites are rating her next opponents chances. Miesha Tate currently has odds of 11/4 to take the title from Holly Holm in March on Coral’s sports betting site. The bookmakers site has 1/4 odds of Holm keeping her belt.
The Dominator previous won the WEC Bantamweight Championship belt back at the end of 2010 by narrowly defeating Scott Jorgensen with a unanimous judge’s decision. He was the last holder of that WEC belt, as in the same year the World Extreme Cagefighting company merged with the UFC and the belt was renamed the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Cruz was the first person to hold the new UFC belt and managed to hold onto it for over 3 years. He defended his title first against Urijah Faber in a much closer match which also had to go to a judge’s decision. He successfully defended his belt for a second time against Demetrious Johnson at the end of 2011, which he managed to take to a judge’s decision despite breaking his hand in the first round. Every sports betting site always predicted every match against Cruz would be a close one, but somehow he managed to hold onto his title after both matches went the distance
Cruz was expected to take part in a rematch with Urijah Faber in July 2012, but had to pull out due to a torn ACL. He had to undergo surgery to repair the injury in December 2012, and was due to return to the sport in February 2014 to defend his title against Renan Barão. The bookmakers predicted Cruz would struggle to hold onto his title against Barão, but the match never even took place. The Dominator had to pull out of that match in January due to a torn groin muscle. As he hadn’t been able to defend UFC title for over two years, the sport’s president Dana White promoted Barão to UFC World Bantamweight Champion despite not defeating Cruz.
Before reclaiming his title, Cruz had only managed to take part in one fight in September 2014 which only lasted a minute before knocking out Takeya Mizugaki. He then announced he had a groin injury in December 2014, and didn’t return until January 2016. Now he looks fully recovered, both fans and betting sites will be reluctant to think he can’t hold onto the title for a long time to come.