Dominick Cruz not retiring after Marlon Vera loss, answers ‘sweetheart of a f****** guy’ Jonathan Martinez


Dominick Cruz is not hanging up his gloves any time soon.

The former UFC bantamweight champ appeared on Wednesday’s The MMA Hour . He dismissed the notion of retiring despite a devastating knockout in his prior fight against Marlon vera, which ended with a head kick.

” I’m here — what does that mean?” Cruz replied when Cruz was asked about his future. It’s been over a month. Running is back for me. I have been training, lifting weights, and getting my body stronger. I’m still top-10 level. I don’t look at myself after that loss and go, ‘I’m not there any more.’ I do the opposite. Alright, speed, power, and all that stuff are still available. We’ve just got to tighten up some defense.

“You either retire, or you lose, and those are your choices. Many people who have retired don’t actually lose because they quit. It’s possible to keep on going but you will eventually lose too much. My last fight is not something I look back on and say, “Ah, they’re just outclassing me.” It was much more than that. So, just take my team, fix the fundamentals and take it a day at a time. Train and enjoy .”


Cruz lost his two-fight winning streak after losing the bantamweight title to him and failing to retake it. This was almost four years ago. At 37, the San Diego native has been at the top level of MMA in multiple promotions and occupied a short list of veterans to recapture a lost belt.

Cruz marvels at the technical advances over his time in MMA and the threats young fighters face, among them the ambidextrous striking skills Vera used to catch him from a southpaw stance after struggling with his characteristically elusive movement. He believes that his skills remain relevant and, if anything, needs to improve his fundamentals in order to stay on the cutting edge of his field.

“I think I change nothing,” he said. “I can’t change anything. That’s who I am. My hand was even up when I got caught. My defense was my own. But this is a game of inches.

“I hit him, and I was winning for three rounds, and I could have dropped him any of those times, he could have dropped me any of those times. It happened when it happened. You can only make adjustments to the data and manage the variables. The uncontrollables can be controlled by me, but I cannot control them. The fundamentals are something that I can improve upon, so I keep my eyes on myself. For a faster pace, you can just add more. … I enjoyed it, as you do. I’ve made nice reads and embarrassed people, and that’s happened to me now, too.”

Despite his loss, Cruz believes he is still one win away from another title shot. Cruz is a target for up-and-coming fighters who call him out often. This past weekend, it was Jonathan Martinez, who stopped veteran Cub Swanson by leg kick and used his post-fight speech to request a fight with the ex-champ.

As with many callouts, Cruz received the message at the UFC broadcast table, and his reaction was the same.

” What a lovely guy f ****** — lets be real, the most kind and caring guy in the world, calling me out, it makes sense, he stated. “Do you want to fight a guy that’s got 300 followers and is lethal, or do you want to fight a guy who’s been doing this for a long time and is also lethal, but either way, you’re facing two dangerous guys — one guy is a former champ, one guy is nasty, not a former champ. Who you going to call out?

” People will continue to call me. I understand that. He is my friend. All I can do is there with my microphone and my suit and go, ‘Thank you, appreciate the callout, respect.’ What, are you supposed to say, be mad? It’s a business. I get it. This is a business decision, so it seems a bit strange standing there .”


It is Cruz’s primary concern right now to get in shape and not put too much pressure on his body while on the road with UFC. He also wants to rebuild the areas of his game that allow him be a more dangerous threat. Whether he competes again for another title, faces a young, hungry talent, or some other option on his long road, his mindset hasn’t changed. His fight experience is part of him and he hasn’t stopped.

“I’m a fan of the sport,” he said. I’m a big fan of Dillashaw. I’m a fan of [Aljamain] Sterling. I’m a fan of all these guys … [Petr] Yan, [Sean] O’Malley. It’s great to be able to call their fights and to challenge them. I’m still here. I’m still competing.”

And then, there is the final perspective of his present lot. As bad as things got in his last outing, it’s still way better than where he started.

“I come from a trailer park,” Cruz said. “I’m out of the trailer park. Let’s be honest, life is good.”