Dominick Cruz may be the least respected Champion among the hardcore fans. He has defended his title 4 times already, but he isn't spoken of in the same light as GSP, Jose Aldo, Anderson Silva, or even Jon Jones. His "puzzle", unlike the Machida one, seems unsolvable. His striking style and movement has a flaw of not being able to generate much power from it, but his big strength is that punches, kicks, and takedowns can come from the same motion. Many people have speculated on how to beat the other Champs, but I don't think I've read a solid gameplan to beat Cruz
How exactly do you beat Cruz?
Problems He Poses
- Pure MMA striking style - His "dancing" style takes away power from his strikes, but it allows him to throw punches, kicks, and takedowns from the same approach. He also gets in and out at angles which minimizes his risk of getting countered
- Defensive Wrestling - Pretty much this:
Come the hell on! According to UFC.com less than 20% of the takedowns attempted on him are successful. When Faber did manage to get him down in this fight he swept him almost immediately also.
- High Work Rate - Going into any Cruz fight you know he's gonna throw a ton of strikes and trying to outwork him will likely end up having you lose on points. On top of that he seems like he could fight 8-10 rounds if he had to.
- Chin - Urijah had a strategy of waiting until Cruz came in and then punching straight down the pipe. One of those punches dropped him(I think the other knockdown was a slip), but as soon as his ass hit the ground he had fully recovered.
His next challenger is "Mighty Mouse" Demetrius Johnson who is probably the fastest person in the UFC. Gamblers don't seem to be putting much stock in speed killing because Cruz is currently floating around a -400 mark on most sports books.
So how do you beat a fighter who lacks power, but will always outwork you? A guy you need to finish to win, but has great TDD and a good chin? What is the gameplan? Who can best execute it?