Dominick Cruz kicked off 2016 by reclaiming the bantamweight championship he never lost inside the Octagon, before then defending the belt against his nemesis Urijah Faber. Despite that, Dominick Cruz entered 2017 without the bantamweight championship.
In the final UFC event of 2016, Cruz stepped into the Octagon against undefeated Team Alpa Male prospect Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt for a highly anticipated grudge match. While many believed that Garbrandt was overly emotional going into the fight, he quickly proved to the MMA community that being the less experienced fighter didn’t mean anything.
Ultimately, after picking Cruz apart over the course of 5 rounds, and even dropping the champ several times in the later rounds, Garbrandt was awarded the decision win, as well as the bantamweight championship. Following the loss to Garbrandt, Cruz was extremely open and straightforward about his loss, stating that he knew what he did wrong in the fight, and he would be back to reclaim the bantamweight strap.
In the days following the fight, Cruz took to social media to send a message to his fans:
Happy New Year everyone! I said everything I needed to in my post fight interviews except for one important thing – Thank you to all my fans, family, friends and the media for all the love and support. As I stated on Friday night, I’m not out of this. It’s just another life lesson that will help me learn, grow and evolve as a human and a man. I’m still standing. I’m not going ANYWHERE! … Congrats to @cody_nolove on a good scrap! ⚡️ #ToBeContinued . @monsterenergy #monsterenergy @toyotaescondido #toyotaescondido @toyotires #toyotires @metropcs #metropcs @hayabusafight #hayabusafight . 📸: @allelbows .
So far no word yet as to when Cruz will return to the Octagon, however a nasty cut which resulted from an accidental headbutt opened up a massive gash over Cruz’ left eye, which has resulted in ‘The Dominator’ being suspended for 45 days with no contact.