WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBSDFW.COM) – UCF bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz should consider a career in acting when his fighting days are over. He’s got good looks, speaks well, and convinces crowds fight after fight that he is actively trying to finish his opponent.
Saturday night was no different. His challenger, Demetrious Johnson, was able to keep the same fast pace that the champ is well known for but wasn’t quite able to close the distance. Cruz was able to take down Johnson on multiple occasions on his way to a unanimous decision victory.
The champ, now 19-1, only came close to finishing the fight once with a rear naked choke in the 3rd round. Johnson was able to get out and eventually find his way back to a standing position but Cruz again took him down in a successful effort to earn the round. Multiple times throughout the fight, Cruz was in various, dominating positions in which he should have been able to push a little harder and finish Johnson.
If this was the first time in which Cruz had pushed a fight to the five round limit, it would be easy to chalk tonight up to Johnson being able to outwit the champs offense, but it’s not. Five round decisions have become the norm with Dominick Cruz, who before this fight was quoted as saying, “If I don’t get the finish, I’m trying to embarrass you for five rounds!” In saying this, it almost seems as if Cruz is admitting that he enjoys going distance. Maybe that’s not the case, maybe it’s the caliber of opponents he’s defending his title against. Either way, Dominick Cruz went to sleep Saturday night still the UFC bantamweight champion, thanks to a decision victory.
In the nights semi-main event, it was a throwback to the early years of the UFC as the heavyweight divisions tallest fighter, Stefan ‘The Skyscraper’ Struve took on the shortest, Pat ‘HD’ Barry in a battle of the kick boxers. It was a feel out process for most of the first round. Nothing really connecting, nothing really thrown.
The 2 found their way to the ground in the second and that would be the opening Struve needed. He was able to secure a triangle choke, using his long legs to lock it in. Barry responded with a thunderous, power bomb like slam by Barry. However, Struve was able to brace himself with an elbow while maintaining the triangle, forcing Barry to tap. The 2 fighters quickly embraced.
“I’m thrilled with the result,” said Struve. “This guy over here, Pat, is one of the coolest dudes in the UFC.” The 2 came into the fight as friends and will no doubt continue to be close, with Struve holding the bragging rights for now.
Results for the rest of the evening:
Anthony Johnson def. Charlie Brenneman via TKO (head kick) – Round 1
Matt Wiman def. Mac Danzig via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Yves Edwards def. Rafaello Oliveira via TKO (punches) – Round 2
Paul Sass def. Michael Johnson via submission (heel hook) – Round 1
Mike Easton def. Byron Bloodworth via TKO (knees) – Round 2
T.J. Grant def. Shane Roller via submission (armbar) – Round 3
Josh Neer def. Keith Wisniewski via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 2
Walel Watson def. Joseph Sandoval via TKO (strikes) – Round 1