Victorious Cruz Eying Rematch with Faber

By Mike Whitman Dec 16, 2010
Dominick Cruz file photo |

They call him “The Dominator” for a reason.

WEC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz further staked his claim as the top 135 pounder on the planet with a one-sided unanimous decision victory over Scott Jorgensen in the co-main event of WEC 53 at the Arena in Glendale, Ariz.

Jorgensen had nothing for the elusive champion, as Cruz peppered his foe with crisp punches and kicks interspersed by textbook takedowns.

“Something that I’ve worked very hard on is mixing up combinations. Something you can't account for when you get in there with me is speed and movement,” said Cruz after his bout. “Everybody says they're going to cut the cage off and out-wrestle me, but when you get in there and actually feel the speed, the power and the movement, it's a different story. That's not me bragging. That's just the way it is.”

Though the 25-year-old lived up to his moniker in the fight, the once-beaten Cruz still sees room for improvement.

“I dominated the fight like I wanted to, but I didn't get the finish. I’m always going to be disappointed in myself until I get that,” said Cruz. “I dropped him, I head-kicked him, I kneed him in the head. I was looking for it, but these guys are tough. [Finishing opponents] is the next step in my game to grow and get to the next level.”

The champion put the pedal to the metal from the opening round and wouldn't let up, using his trademark style to bewilder and frustrate his opponent. When asked about his impressive conditioning at the post-fight news conference, Cruz responded with his tongue in his cheek.

“My coach runs behind me with a car for miles, and I have no choice but to run or get run over,” joked the smiling champion. “Nah, just kidding. I just train really hard. I go through a 10-week camp. Everything I do is balls to the wall. I put my heart and soul into every training camp. I give 110 percent of myself for my entire camp, and I eat, sleep and breathe MMA.”

With his victory over Jorgensen, Cruz will not only forever go down as the WEC titleholder, but he will also enter the record books as the first-ever UFC bantamweight king.

“I'm kind of speechless. It hasn't really set in yet. I’m just pretty stoked. That's about all I can say,” confessed Cruz. “It's a surreal moment. It was something I dreamed about when I was coming up. When I was 19 years old, I was dreaming of being in the UFC. Thank God for the WEC, so I didn't have to fight those monsters at 155. This is a dream come true.”

Regarding the future, it's no secret that Cruz is campaigning for a rematch with Urijah Faber, the only man to ever best the Alliance MMA product. At Thursday's post-fight presser, Cruz reiterated his wish to once again enter the cage with “The California Kid.”

“I have no excuses. He beat me fair and square, but it's been three years. I’m a different fighter,” said Cruz. “I just know I’m on a different level than him.”

When the topic of coaching against Faber in the upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter” was brought up, Cruz didn't hesitate to express his desire to participate, even asserting that he might forgo hand surgery to coach opposite his rival.

“I've gone into my last two fights with a hand injury that needs to be addressed. It's something that is just going to get worse if I don't get it taken care of,” said Cruz. “But it would be awesome to get my loss back. With an opportunity like that, I might have to [fight] with my hand [injured] again. But I'll get it checked, and I'll take it stride by stride. I want what's best for the longevity of my career.”
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>