Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has spent the better part of the past year analyzing fighters as part of the FOX Sports 1 team. Now, he gets his chance to go to work inside the Octagon.
Cruz returns from two knee surgeries and a groin injury tonight in the UFC 178 prelim main event against Takeya Mizugaki. “The Dominator” hasn’t fought since defeating Demetrious Johnson in fall of 2011 to improve to 19-1 overall.
Despite carrying a 10-fight win streak into the contest, Cruz explained that he can’t take anything for granted vs. Mizugaki once they door closes.
“All he would need to win is to time me one time being lazy with my jab,” said Cruz, while appearing on UFC Tonight earlier this week. “On top of that, he knows how to win rounds. He’s a veteran who knows where he is within each round.”
Cruz joined the UFC when they absorbed the WEC in 2011, defeating Urijah Faber. Along with his wins over Faber and Johnson, Cruz has also topped Joseph Benavidez, Scott Jorgensen and Brian Bowles.
With Mizugaki (20-7-2), Cruz will be facing a man on a five-fight win streak – all of which have come via decision. Still, the former champion feels he will be able to rely on his five-round experience in this planned three-round battle.
“I’m going to be able to keep a fast pace and with a three-round fight, that’s something you have to do. The pace has to be higher and it’s that much more important to win each round than in a five round fight.”