Dominick Cruz completed his unbelievable comeback story in dramatic fashion last night by reclaiming the UFC’s bantamweight title, and the veteran fighter says his wrestling was key to the win.
If you missed last night’s bout, and love MMA at its highest levels, then you might want to clear up sometime today to watch the fight. As hardcore fans and pundits expected, Cruz and TJ Dillashaw put on a brilliant showcase of footwork and striking, with a little bit of wrestling and groundwork to round it out. After the very, very competitive fight, Cruz was awarded the split decision win.
Following the bout, the new (still) champ spoke with FOX Sports 1. Here is some of what Cruz had to say while discussing what he thought the difference was (quote via FOX Sports press release):
“The big thing was takedowns. He had 100 percent takedown defense before this fight. And I had to take that away from him because he throws a lot of kicks. Anyone who throws a lot of kicks, I’m going to make you pay for them. And I had to counter him when he came straight down the middle. Those were keys, mixed in with long combinations.”
Cruz was never able to keep Dillashaw on the mat for long, but it was extremely impressive to see him take the accomplished wrestler to the mat. As he also noted, throwing in the takedowns was a great way to counter Dillashaw’s kicking game.
Now it will be interesting to see what comes next. The bout was certainly competitive and entertaining enough to justify a rematch, but there does seem to be a lot of immediate rematch talk these days. The UFC could go with Urijah Faber…
UFC FN 81 went down at the TD Garden in Boston.