Dominick Cruz knows a thing or two about incredible comebacks.

Plagued with injuries throughout his career, Cruz (22-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) returned after almost 16 months on the sidelines to challenge UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw in 2016, who was looking unstoppable to that point.

Dillashaw, who used his transformed style and incredible footwork to dethrone Renan Barao, was matched up with Cruz, who’s known for his movement and evasiveness.

Cruz gave Dillashaw fits throughout the fight, bobbing and weaving out of the way, while landing solid counters as an aggressive Dillashaw came in. He was even able to perfectly time a few brief takedowns that certainly had judges swaying rounds in his favor.

After five rounds of a closely contested back-and-forth battle, Cruz was awarded the split decision, narrowly edging a stunned Dillashaw. It was an incredible performance by Cruz, who went five rounds with relative ease, proving that ring rust was no factor for him.

Cruz went on to close the chapter with arch rival Urijah Faber in their trilogy, but eventually lost his title to Cody Garbrandt at the end of the year. He hasn’t competed since that loss, with injuries to his arm and shoulder keeping him on the shelf for more than three years.

But he is finally set to make his return at UFC 249, replacing Jose Aldo to challenge bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo.

Before he faces Cejudo, relive Cruz’s championship winning performance in the video above.

UFC 249 takes place May 9 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. The main card is expected to stream on pay-per-view after prelims on ESPN/ESPN+.

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