Biography and Profile of Dominick Cruz

UFC 199: Rockhold v Bisping 2
Urijah Faber (blue gloves) and Dominick Cruz (red gloves) during their bantamweight championship bout at UFC 199 at The Forum on June 4, 2016 in Inglewood, California. Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images

Believe it or not, Cruz's mother kicked him out of the house for hosting a house party when he was 19 years old. Of course, there was more to it than that- the party was simply the final straw. But ask Cruz, and he'll tell you it was the "greatest thing that ever happened to me.” After all, it forced him to become a man.

A man that eventually became UFC Bantamweight Champion. Here is Cruz's story.

Date of Birth

Dominick Cruz was born on September 3, 1985, Tucson, Arizona.

Training Camp and Fighting Organization

Cruz trains with Alliance MMA. He fights for the UFC organization.

Early Life and Sports Background

Cruz's parents separated when he was only five years old. Thus, his mother raised him and his younger brother in Tucson from that point forward.

Cruz was always a pretty athletic child. As a 7th grader, he happened upon the wrestling room while looking for soccer tryouts. One of the coaches saw him in the doorway, and according to MMAJunkie.com, asked: "What do you weigh?" When Cruz indicated he was looking for soccer tryouts, the coach said: "You're a wrestler now."

Cruz became a wrestler that day and participated through high school and during summers on the freestyle circuit. Unfortunately, torn ligaments in his ankle kept him from college wrestling.

MMA Beginnings

After high school, Cruz took a valet parking job at a hotel, coached wrestling in high school, worked at Lowe's, and even took some classes at a local college.

At 19 years of age, he took a look at Boxing Inc., a gym in Tucson. Cruz started with boxing there, then martial arts, and finally decided to take a fight.

Cruz made his MMA debut on January 29, 2005, against Eddie Castro at RITC: 67. He won by split decision. In fact, Cruz won his first nine pro bouts, taking home the Total Combat Lightweight and Featherweight championships along the way before making his WEC debut on March 24, 2007, against Urijah Faber.

Faber won by guillotine choke early in round one.

At the time, Cruz wasn't even training full-time yet.

Becoming WEC Bantamweight Champion

Cruz dropped down a division in weight after the Faber loss and went on an eight fight winning streak. During that time, he defeated the likes of Charlie Valencia, Ian McCall, Ivan Lopez, Joseph Benavidez (twice by decision), Brian Bowles, and Scott Jorgenson. His win over Bowles netted him the WEC Bantamweight Title.

That's when the WEC folded into the UFC. Cruz was named UFC Bantamweight Champion. Next up: a rematch with Faber.

Defeating Urijah Faber at UFC 132

There were a lot of differences since the last time these two fought. First, their battle would take place in a different division. Next, Faber was hardly as unbeatable as he once was, even if the veteran was still a big time challenge. And last, Cruz was a much better fighter who was now training full time.

The result was a fight that saw Cruz shirk plenty of Faber takedowns and outboxing his adversary. Though Faber did land most of the big punches on the night, Cruz's performance was enough to garner a unanimous decision victory.

Vacating His UFC Bantamweight Title

Cruz did not lose his belt in a fight.

 Rather, ACL injuries in combination with a later torn groin forced UFC President Dana White to make the announcement that then Interim Champion Renan Barao would take over Cruz's title.  The announcement was made on January 6, 2014.

Fighting Style

Cruz is a very unorthodox stand-up fighter who tends to strike at odd angles. He's very hard to hit, due to some excellent footwork, and has a great upper cut. In other words, the former wrestler is one of the best stand-up fighters in the bantamweight division.

Cruz is also a cardio machine that fights with heart and courage. From a ground perspective, he demonstrates a solid wrestling pedigree. He is known for very solid takedown defense.

Some of Dominick Cruz's Greatest MMA Victories

Cruz defeats Takeya Mizugaki by first round KO at UFC 178: Cruz was coming back from ACL injuries that forced a near three-year lapse between fights in this one.

Ring rust?  I think not.  Rather, he absolutely demolished Mizugaki.  Unfortunately for him, he hurt his other ACL before his next fight.  That didn't take the luster off of this one, though.

Cruz defeats Urijah Faber by unanimous decision at UFC 132: Coming into their July 2011 fight, Faber had been the only one to ever defeat Cruz. After a stand-up war, Cruz had his hand raised, allowing him to even their rivalry at one a piece.

Cruz defeats Joseph Benavidez by split decision at WEC 50: Benavidez is a Team Alpha Male guy, along with Urijah Faber. So when Cruz defeated him for the second time, it offered him a measure of revenge over the WEC's most famous fighter.

Cruz defeats Brian Bowles by TKO at WEC 47: Sure Bowles broke his hand. Still, he did so while fighting Cruz for the WEC bantamweight title. Afterward, Cruz called himself champion.