UFC 259: Dominick Cruz vs Casey Kenney- Prediction and Fight Analysis

Published 03/05/2021, 6:02 AM EST


The consensus greatest bantamweight of all-time, Dominick Cruz, returns this weekend at UFC 259 to fight the unranked Casey Kenney. Kenney is a former two-division LFA champion who is currently on a 3-fight winning streak. His last win against Nathaniel Wood at UFC 254 was somewhat controversial, as many believe Wood might have won the fight.

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Cruz, on the other hand, stepped up on short notice to fight Henry Cejudo at UFC 249. The fight ended in Cruz getting knocked out for the first time as a professional. However, the stoppage of that fight was very controversial as ‘The Dominator’ was working his way back up to his feet after eating a knee from Cejudo.

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)

Cruz has now lost his last 2 fights. He dropped a decision against Cody Garbrandt in 2016 prior to his 2020 loss to Henry Cejudo. However, Cruz looked like he was getting back to his usual self in the second round of his fight against ‘The Messenger‘ after a tough first round. He started landing some good shots before getting caught by the knee.

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Kenney on the other hand just hasn’t fought the same level of competition as ‘The Dominator’. Cruz has been fighting championship-level opponents only for many years, and that might play a big factor in this fight.

Dominick Cruz and Casey Kenny in numbers

Cruz holds a professional record of 22-3 compared to Kenny’s 16-2. Cruz has 7 T/KO wins and 1 submission win; Kenny has 2 T/KO and 5 submission wins in his resume. Cruz has a takedown defense of 83% which will come in handy against a Judo practitioner like Kenny. Cruz also has a takedown average of 3.05 compared to Kenny’s 1.25.

‘The Dominator’ has landed 3.52 significant strikes per minute; Kenny has absorbed 5.37 strikes per minute. This can be crucial, as ‘The Dominator’ will look to overwhelm Kenny with his movement and accumulation of shots.

LAS VEGAS, NV – DECEMBER 30: Dominick Cruz awaits the start of round two during his UFC bantamweight championship bout during the UFC 207 event at T-Mobile Arena on December 30, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Kenny doesn’t necessarily possess the knockout power to put his opponents out. So, he will look to chop on Cruz’s legs early in the fight with some leg kicks, akin to what Cejudo did. However, Cruz’s fight IQ and style could be too much for Kenny to handle.

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Despite the belief that Cruz is out of his prime, that isn’t necessarily the case. He should weather an early storm from Kenny and win the later rounds to ultimately bag a unanimous decision.

Final Prediction: Dominick ‘The Dominator‘ Cruz by unanimous decision.

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Apratim Banerjee

612 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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