UFC 249 ended in disappointment for Dominick Cruz, but he’s not ready to rule out a return to fighting just yet.
Cruz (22-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) was stopped by UFC bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo in the second round at UFC 249 in a finish that left a sour taste in the former champion’s mouth.
After being dropped by a knee, Cruz ate several unanswered punches and referee Keith Peterson waived the fight off with just two seconds left in the round, as Cruz was seemingly attempting to get back to his feet.
Cruz was not shy when putting Peterson on blast for what he thought was an early stoppage. But if there’s any consolation prize for the former two-time UFC bantamweight champion, it’s that, after an over three-year-long layoff, he’s healthy, despite the loss.
“Yeah, I’m in this,” Cruz told ESPN. “I just need to get in there and get some more rounds. Let these legs flush, move them around. I’m healthy. I love feeling lethal and right now I am a lethal person, still. I love being healthy, it feels so good to be healthy. Even after a fight, to feel healthy like I do, it’s different.
“I’m usually going into these five-round wars, and I’m used to double the amount of damage, triple the amount of damage than I took. Because over the five rounds, you just accumulate a lot. Even with good decision making, you accumulate a lot on your feet, your hands, and none of that has taken place. My face is fine, I barely got hit in my face. It’s just part of it, and (the) loss is part of this thing.”
For Cruz, who’s been forced to sit on the sidelines for a good portion of his career due to injury, coming out relatively unscathed from the fight is a massive positive as he looks to assess his next step once he’s back in the gym.
“I feel healthy and I don’t feel broken,” he said. “I’m here and I’m gonna get back to the gym and train and then move from there. I’ve got people that can make this move any time we want. It’s not gonna be hard to find people that wanna fight me and it’s not gonna be hard for me to find a fight. So I think it’s needless to say that you will be hearing from me in some way, shape or form again.”