Cruz ready to capture first UFC championship tonight
Dominick Cruz may hold the WEC bantamweight title, but as far as he is concerned, he will not be defending Thursday night at WEC 53. He will simply be earning it once again.
Cruz, who defeated Brian Bowles to earn the belt earlier this year at WEC 47, has defended his title once, with a victory over Joseph Benavidez at WEC 50. This Thursday, he will defend it for the second time when he faces off against Scott Jorgensen in the co-main event of WEC 53.
Jorgensen, whose wrestling has allowed him to plow through the competition placed before him, has gone 5-0 since October of 2009. The streak includes a brutal submission victory over Chad George, a technical knockout victory over Noah Thomas, and three unanimous decision wins.
But Cruz is entering this fight confident that he’ll defend his belt yet again.
“Every time I’m fighting for a belt, I’m fighting to receive a belt,” Cruz stated in his interview on WEC.tv. “I’m not fighting to defend anything. Every single time I’m out there, I’m winning new belts.”
“At the 135 lb. division, me and Jorgensen are the top 135’ers. We’re the best guys in the world right now, and I’m going to prove that I’m better than him.”
Cruz enters this fight fresh off a split-decision victory over the aforementioned Benavidez back in August. However, even though he kept the belt after the five round bout, the bantamweight title holder feels that some believe he is not the top fighter in his weight class.
But there are few people in the entire sport, much less the division, that boast a level of movement and striking that Cruz has. With his stand up skills, he plans to prove that he deserves the title.
“I feel like I’ve got a lot to prove in this fight,” stated Cruz. “I feel like I’ve got a chip on my shoulder. I feel like a lot of people don’t think that I’m the undisputed champion. I’m going to go out there and prove why I’m the best in the world and how right I really am to be that.”
While Cruz has quickly risen to the top of his weight class, he has not lost sight of the reason he has battle to the title. Throughout his career, he has fought hard and displayed an incredible work ethic to reach the pinnacle and attain the title he has so eagerly sought.
Cruz now faces off against the next man who hopes to steal the bantamweight title. Jorgensen plans to take him out of his game with wrestling to earn the title, even going as far as telling Heavy.com that he could outwrestle Cruz in his sleep.
But to hold the championship belt has always been a dream of Dominick’s, and he has no plans to leave the cage tonight without the new UFC bantamweight title strapped around his waist.
“Being the WEC champion is everything that I’ve dreamed of,” Cruz said. “I’ve always wanted to be a champion. I’ve always wanted to be a professional athlete. Now I’ve done it and I’ve learned a lot about myself. It’s given me a lot of confidence and I know that I’m the best fighter on the planet in my division.”
“My goal this year was to be the WEC champion. I’ve done that and I’ve defended my title decisively. Now, I’m going to go out tonight and win the UFC title.”