Dominick Cruz vs Demetrious Johnson, UFC Live, 1 October 2011
Dominick Cruz is one of the most intelligent fighters in the UFC. He has adopted a fighting style that revolves around an intricate and dynamic pattern of footwork. This footwork allows Dominick to avoid being hit as well as being able to attack opponents from unorthodox angles.
When matched up against one of the most strategic fighters in Demetrious Johnson, fight fans have a dynamic and exhilarating fight on their hands.
Dominick Cruz became the WEC Bantamweight Champion in 2010 by beating the tough West Virginia KO artist Brian Bowles. When the UFC took over the WEC, he then became the first UFC Bantamweight Champion by defeating Scott Jorgensen in a confirmation match. His first defense of the title was against long time rival Urijah Faber. The second defense was against the Mighty Mouse.
Dominick has a mesmerizing unique style of footwork. Constant motion, steps forward, backward, side to side. His movement and speed akins him to the Queen chess piece inside an MMA cage. He describes how he derived this pattern of footwork from watching boxers and football players. Years and years of practice in the gym has perfected this approach. His opponents find it difficult to decipher and impossible to train for.
Demetrious Johnson on the other hand is an equally skilled and intelligent opponent. He has come under the tutelage of Matt Hume. With the help of his team, Demetrious Johnson breaks down and analyzes every opponent. Hours and hours of tape help the fight wizards find weaknesses and craft ways to neutralize and take advantage. This intricate strategizing paired with grueling drills and training make Demetrious Johnson one of the most interesting fighters to watch. Adding on his skill, his quickness, and his aggression in the cage, Demetrious Johnson is certainly a fight fans delight.
In 2011, Dominick Cruz had almost cleaned out the entire Bantamweight division. There were hardly any more top contenders to challenge for the belt. This is also during the time before the UFC had a Flyweight division. Top flyweights like Joseph Benavidez, Ian McCall, Demetrious Johnson were all forced to fight in a weight division higher than what they would prefer. Joseph and Ian both lost against Dominick Cruz previously. Now it was Demetrious Johnson up for the challenge.
Stepping into the ring, there is a very apparent height and size difference between the two fighters. Dominick had a 5 inch height advantage, and a 4 inch reach advantage. It was going to be very difficult for Demetrious Johnson to land punches and kicks.
Despite his best efforts, Demetrious Johnson came up short in this fight. I believe the primary reason is because of the size difference. Demetrious’s skills were on point but it simply wasn’t enough against a larger and also very skilled opponent. The size difference and Dominicks footwork didn’t allow Demetrious Johnson to land the volume of punches he wanted. At the same time, Dominick not only had the reach advantage in landing hits, but he was also able to easily stop take down and even execute suplexes on the smaller Demetrious.
Regardless of the outcome, Dominick Cruz vs Demetrious Johnson is an exhilarating fight. Don’t blink!
Dominick Cruz vs Demetrious Johnson full fight video