It may have taken a global pandemic to create another UFC title opportunity for Dominick Cruz, but the former UFC bantamweight champion will be challenging current division king Henry Cejudo for the 135-pound strap at UFC 249 on May 9 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
Cruz, 35, hasn’t competed since losing his bantamweight title to Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207. That was well over three years ago as Cruz has been sidelined due to a litany of injuries. Despite his absence, “Dominator” remains the greatest bantamweight fighter of all time and one of the most intelligent minds in the fight game today. He was the perfect candidate to step in for Jose Aldo and fight a legend-hunting champion like Cejudo.
That said, it has been quite some time since fight fans last saw Cruz compete inside of the cage. And the last time we did, “No Love” put him on skates for 25-straight minutes. We all want to know what the former UFC champion has left in the tank and if he can sustain greatness once more.
In preparation for Cruz’s return next weekend, UFC has released a full fight replay of his clash with rival T.J. Dillashaw at UFC Fight Night 81 back in 2016 (shown above). Cruz was coming off a 16-month absence leading into that title fight with then champion Dillashaw, but still managed to fight all five rounds en route to winning a split decision and regaining his title, which was later defended against Urijah Faber and then relinquished to Garbrandt.
Only time will tell if Cruz can return to glory one more time and hand Cejudo his first loss inside of the Octagon since 2016.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 249 fight card below, starting with the ESPN+/Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+/ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
For complete UFC 249 fight card news click here.