HENRY CEJUDO VS. DOMINICK CRUZ
The bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo’s mission is to justify his claim to be the greatest combat sports athlete of all time and aims to remove the legends that preceded him as a way to make his case. The COVID-19 pandemic and its travel restrictions have driven former featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo out of their planned fight, however, another former title holder stepped in, eager to face “Triple C” in hope to do some history.
In competition for the first time since the loss of the bantamweight strap at UFC 207, Dominick Cruz will enter the cage and will stand in front of Cejudo with designs on the title claim for the third time. While Cruz is one of the rare athletes to win gold at the UFC twice in the same division, only the Hall of Famer Randy Couture has managed to accomplish the feat three times, and if Cruz can reproduce the efforts of “The Natural”, he could very well join him in the pantheon of the great of all times, if he is not already there.
What made this match so attractive was the same thing that prompted many to question pairing when it was first announced.
Cruz has not fought since December 2016, when he was beaten by Cody Garbrandt in the main co-event of the UFC final that year. Although he remained omnipresent in the community due to his role as a UFC program analyst, the injuries resulted in a few false starts and ultimately left him out for the past three years and more.
But this is nothing new for the San Diego star. He missed almost three full years and was stripped of his title in the time following his victory over Demetrious Johnson, came back and absolutely took the pillar of the Takeya Mizugaki division. He then spent another 16 months between the apparitions, to return and dethrone TJ Dillashaw, who many believed was about to reign over the division for years.
For Cejudo, who begins a five-game winning streak and two consecutive championship wins, is another opportunity to defeat another former champion – whose sterling record (22-2) is sadly overshadowed by injuries who have prevented him from creating real momentum since joining the UFC nine years ago with the rest of his WEC colleagues.
The bantamweight division is filled with talent and there will be an uninterrupted cavalcade of worthy challengers ready to take on whoever wins in this one. It looks like the 135 pound weight class is about to experience its true moment of breakthrough at the UFC and this is the starting point, so get attached and enjoy it.