Size Matters for Dominick Cruz

Written by Tom Ngo
June 30th, 2011

UFC Bantamweight Dominick Cruz

Dominick Cruz has been driving recent opponents mad with his ever-elusive style. Although he was confined in the WEC’s smaller cage for the last several years, he managed to bob, weave and bang his way to capturing the bantamweight title.

On Saturday, “The Dominator” makes big league debut against Urijah Faber. Cruz believes the UFC’s larger Octagon will mesh seamlessly with his repertoire.

“Yeah, it’s definitely an advantage for me. I think a lot of people game plan to get me up against the cage and try to head me off,” Cruz told 5thRound during this week’s media call. “That’s what my training partners are doing to simulate what the other guy is trying to do to me.

“At the same time, I am very offensive. Just because it’s a big cage doesn’t mean I’m going to be running the whole time. I’m looking to go in there and let everything hang out and do everything I can to get that finish as soon as possible.”

The WEC’s cage ran 25-feet in diameter, while the UFC’s Octagon checks in at 30-feet in diameter. Although the size of the playing field could influence what goes down inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las, Vegas, Nevada, Cruz claims that’s not the only thing that’s changed since Faber submitted him in March of 2007.

“My scrambling and my wrestling, and my body is changing,” Cruz said of his continued evolution. “It’s been four years, you know? Everything is different for this fight. He’s fighting a completely different person. I’m in a lot better place now. I’ve got a lot more knowledge about how the fight game works.”

In addition to the bigger stage, the UFC also offers much brighter lights and exposure. Understanding it would be easy to allow the moment to overtake him, Cruz will follow the same pre-fight agenda he did while working for the UFC’s little brother.

“I’ve been given the opportunity to be in the first bantamweight title fight [in the UFC],” Cruz stated. “It’s definitely something I’m excited for, but really, it’s the exact same ritual that I’d go through in the WEC.

“There’s just a little bit more incentive at the end, that’s all.”

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