Cruz makes UFC bantamweight history with victory at WEC 53

Dominick Cruz made MMA history, defending the WEC bantamweight title and earning the first-ever UFC bantamweight title with a dominating win over Scott Jorgensen at WEC 53 in Glendale, Ariz. on Thursday night. On all three judges cards, Cruz won 50-45.

Cruz started the fight just as expected. He did not stop moving, throwing combinations and leg kicks, then dancing away from Jorgensen. When Jorgensen could get a hand on Cruz, he tried to take him down but had to settle for a clinch. He could only hold the clinch for a few seconds, as Cruz broke away and returned to the constantly moving stand-up. As the round ended, Jorgensen took Cruz down, but couldn't stay on his back. Cruz rolled out and ended up on top of Jorgensen.

Even with Cruz continuing his stick-and-move game, Jorgensen was able to land a few more punches early in the second round, opening a cut on the bridge of Cruz's nose. Cruz took Jorgensen down halfway through the round and followed that up with damaging elbows. They returned to their feet near the end of the round, but Jorgensen couldn't capitalize on the opportunity.

With Jorgensen's eyes swelling up, Cruz turned up the pressure in the third round. He wobbled Jorgensen with a right hand early. Jorgensen returned to his feet, but Cruz didn't slow. He followed up with kicks to the head and body, all the while dodging and moving between strikes. With a minute left in the round, Cruz hit a beautiful takedown. After that, Jorgensen came close to being able to generate offense, reversing Cruz and taking his back, but Cruz slipped out and returned to his feet.

By the fourth round, Jorgensen needed a home run as he was clearly behind in points. Jorgensen came out strong early, but every time he seemed to get going, Cruz took him down and followed with nasty strikes. Jorgensen, a Division I collegiate wrestler, had no answer for Cruz's kneetap takedown.

Somehow, Cruz did not slow in the fifth and final round. Jorgensen continued to move forward and even got a takedown, but couldn't do anything with it. Cruz answered Jorgensen's takedown with a blast double leg of his own, taking Jorgensen straight down to the canvas.

When the final horn sounded, Cruz walked to the side of the cage where former WEC featherweight champ Urijah Faber was sitting, and glared at him. Faber is the only man who has beaten Cruz, and he recently dropped to bantamweight. Cruz didn't hesitate to ask for a bout with Faber after the fight. Faber made comments on the WEC pre-show that made it obvious that he would welcome this fight.

What to Read Next