BREAKING: Dominick Cruz Returns to UFC Action Against a Ranked Opponent at UFC 269

Published 09/29/2021, 10:56 PM EDT
INGLEWOOD, CA – JUNE 04: Dominick Cruz celebrates after defeating Urijah Faber by unanimous decision in their UFC bantamweight championship bout during the UFC 199 event at The Forum on June 4, 2016 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz returns to UFC action against number 9 ranked Pedro Munhoz at UFC 269 in December. Cruz is keen to upgrade from his number 11 ranking and a win over Munhoz will allow him to do just that. Chiefly, Cruz has been vying for a fight up the rankings and it seems like he’s finally got what he’s wanted.

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‘The Dominator’ last fought back at UFC 259 where he defeated surging prospect Casey Kenney via split decision. The victory helped Cruz snap a two-fight losing skid, and he believes he can make one last push towards the title. However, Munhoz is a major step up in competition and he will offer much more resistance than Casey Kenney did.

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Speaking of Munhoz, ‘The Young Punisher’ is 1-3 in his last four fights and he was bested by Jose Aldo back in August. Munhoz is yet to capture the same acclaim as he did when he TKO’ed Cody Garbrandt and he’ll want to return to the same spot. Defeating a legend like Cruz will be the step in the right direction he needs to mount a comeback.

HALIFAX, NS – OCTOBER 4: Pedro Munhoz of Brazil celebrates after defeating Jerrod Sanders in their bantamweight bout at the Scotiabank Centre on October 4, 2014 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. (Photo by Nick Laham/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The bantamweight division is crowded, to say the least, and the title landscape is now muddier than ever before. With the undisputed champion on the shelf for the foreseeable future, the door is open to other contenders placed lower in the rankings. It’s truly anyone’s game and a few statement performances can catapult a contender to the very top.

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Sean O’Malley vs Dominick Cruz almost came to fruition?

‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley took to Twitter recently and called out Dominick Cruz for a fight. O’Malley is unranked and is keen to break into the top 15 with a win over a former champion like Cruz.

However, Cruz shot down the idea of fighting O’Malley and revealed he already had an opponent lined up who was ahead of him in the rankings. This name turned out to be Pedro Munhoz as fight fans soon realized.

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There’s no doubt that O’Malley vs Cruz would be a stylistic delight on the feet, as both men aren’t afraid to experiment. Moreover, both men are adept at trash talking and fans would be in for a treat at their press conference.

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Darryl Pinto

1942 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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