Cruz releases statement on KO loss

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Dominick Cruz went into last weekend’s UFC San Diego hoping to earn his third win in a row and push himself into title contention in the crowded bantamweight division. However, unfortunately for Cruz — and his hometown fans, that didn’t happen.

Instead Cruz suffered the most dynamic loss of his career after he was knocked out cold by a Malon Vera head kick in the fourth round.

It was only the second time the 37-year-old had been stopped via strikes (the first being a TKO to Henry Cejudo in 2020). The loss was also only the fourth defeat on Cruz’s 28-fight pro career.

With the dust settled on UFC San Diego, Cruz took to Instagram to provide an update on his health.

“I’m grateful to all of you who came out on Saturday, and for all the love and support here!” he wrote. “The body feels great and I’m thankful for my health. I’ll be seeing you all next up on September 10th at the desk.”

Since losing to Vera, Cruz, whose elusive style and long lay-offs from the sport have helped him avoid the amount of damage many other veteran UFC stars have accumulated, has not signalled any intention to hang up the gloves.

Cruz first gained widespread attention in the late 2000s with his appearances in World Extreme Cagefighting. During his run in that promotion he maintained a memorable rivalry with Urijah Faber and Team Alpha Male.

In 2010 he defeated Brian Bowles to win the WEC bantamweight title. He then defended the title to Joseph Benavidez and Scott Jorgenson.

After WEC was bought out by the UFC in 2010, Cruz’s title was converted to a UFC bantamweight title. His first UFC title defence was against his old nemesis Faber, whom he beat by unanimous decision.

Cruz then defended the belt against Demetrious Johnson before vacating the title due to a long stretch of injuries.

After three years out Cruz returned and defeated Takeya Mizugaki by KO. Cruz then spent another two years on the sideline, returning in 2016 to defeat T.J. Dillashaw by razor thin split decision to win another UFC bantamweight title.

Cruz defended the title against Faber, again, and then dropped the belt to TAM’s Cody Garbrandt.

After four on the sidelines, Cruz returned again to fight for the bantamweight title — this time against Cejudo. After losing to Cejudo Cruz took back-to-back wins over Pedro Munhoz and Casey Kenney.

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