Inside the UFC APEX facility, the bantamweight clash was the featured preliminary bout. Anticipation was palpable as many wondered if the 35-year old Cruz could pick up his first win since 2016, and he did so in style. Despite one of the judge’s scorecards giving the fight to Kenney, it was clear Cruz was commanding the fight’s pace.
In addition, his awkward loopy punches often caught the young prospect Kenney by surprise, forcing him to retreat backward. Though what seemed to really tip the scorecards were the well-timed takedowns Cruz scored in the later parts of the fight. The former champion shared his thoughts on the close fight.
“It was closer than I wanted. Dominick Cruz said at the UFC 259 post-fight press conference. I’ve had a lot of split decisions in my career so it’s not too new.”
Cruz also mentioned that his corner kept him informed leading into the third round. However, the former champion spoke as to why the performance differed from some of his more recent ones.
“My coach was pretty honest with me in the second, that’s what got me to push it in the third. Cruz said. I had a long warm-up. I feel like I warmed up for forty-five minutes straight. I never really stopped. I do feel that makes a difference, definitely.”
With Dominick Cruz back in the win column, it couldn’t be a more exciting time in the bantamweight division. T.J. Dillashaw is back in action, and the bantamweight championship result at UFC 259 created more questions than answers.
What do you make of the bantamweight landscape following the madness at UFC 259? Who would you like to see Dominick Cruz face next in the octagon?