This past Saturday at UFC 269 Dominick Cruz (24-3) took on Pedro Munhoz (19-7, 1 NC) on the prelims. It was the second fight of the year for Dominick Cruz who was looking to inch his way back up the bantamweight ladder.
In the first round, Cruz was looking like vintage Cruz. The footwork looked sensational and he was beating Munhoz to the punch virtually the entire round. However, Munhoz completely changed everything with one shot.
Cruz darted in after landing a shot and ran right into a left straight from Munhoz. The shot put Cruz down and really hurt him badly. Munhoz would go on to drop Cruz again shortly after and the referee was close to stopping it.
However, the fight was allowed to continue and Cruz fought on. As the round progressed, Cruz got his legs back underneath him and looked solid. The rest of the fight was all Dominick Cruz.
The former UFC champion looked sensational in the second and third rounds. His combinations were on point and his speed was giving Munhoz a ton of problems. In the end, it was a lopsided decision win for Cruz.
What’s next after UFC 269?
This was a really big win for the former UFC champion. Dominick Cruz returned earlier this year and got a close decision win over Casey Kenney. However, he really didn’t look like himself in that fight.
He looked a lot like himself at UFC 269. In fact, you could say that he looked a lot like prime Dominick Cruz and prime Dominick Cruz can still be a factor near the top of the UFC’s bantamweight division.
So, with that, what does the promotion do with Cruz next. Well, I’ve seen some people suggest that he fight Cory Sandhagen next. However, I’m not a fan of that at all. I think Sandhagen – Font is a much better route to go.
For Cruz, I look right above him in the UFC rankings. The opponent I’m thinking is Merab Dvalishvili (14-4). Merab has won seven fights in a row and he could use a fight with a former UFC champion.
For Cruz, he needs to beat someone like Merab who’s on a big winning streak and is proving to be a threat at 135. Whoever could win that fight would provide one half of a future title eliminator bout in 2022.