Updated: Aug 14, 2022
UFC bantamweight division is in the headlines nowadays as the things are boiled up and everybody wants gold around the waist. But time will tell who is going to stand on top by the end of the calendar year. This weekend, the UFC is heading to San Diego, California for its latest Fight Night show. In the headline bout, two of the world’s top bantamweights, Marlon Vera and Dominick Cruz are set to face off.
Dominick Cruz (24-3) is a name not to forget when it comes to the bantamweight division. He was one of the greatest bantamweights on the planet. After winning the inaugural UFC bantamweight championship, He defended his title against Urijah Faber and Demetrious Johnson. But later he had to vacate the title due to recurring injuries. Cruz returned from years on the shelf to dethrone T.J. Dillashaw in early 2016, reclaiming the title he never lost in the octagon in the process.
However later that year, he lost to Cody Garbrandt in a title fight as he was dropped several times by the challenger and judges gave a unanimous decision in favor of Garbrandt. The injury bug struck him again and numerous issues kept The Dominator away from the sport. He returned to an unexpected title shot against the champion Henry Cejudo. Cejudo gave a vicious knee, knocking out Cruz. Since then, he looks healthier and more confident to reach the mountaintop once again. He has won his last two fights against Casey Kenney and Pedro Munhoz. He is currently ranked #8 in the division He almost lost a decade due to his injuries but at the age of 36, he is still hugely skilled and has never lost a non-title bout in his octagon career.
Marlon Vera (19-7-1) is one of the tricky fighters rising in the bantamweight division. What makes the #5 ranked so dangerous is the fact that he’s got highly explosive skills in all areas, and he’s also a lethal finisher, as only four of his career 19 wins went to the distance. He is currently hitting his peak as he takes on another former champion Dominick Cruz. The last champ he fought was the former featherweight king Jose Aldo who simply had too much class for him on the night sealing a unanimous decision. Since that loss, he has responded well in with a unanimous decision victory over Davey Grant and then put on his best shot to date when he knocked out the former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar with a brutal front kick. He then followed that up with another unanimous decision over the highly rated Rob Font back in April.
The bantamweight division has never been so stacked and there is already a queue of contenders waiting in line for Aljamain Sterling. Dominick Cruz will be looking to make a hometown fight a special one with a win. Vera will be eyeing the throne with no intentions of falling short to another former champion. A win for either man will put them one step away from the title fight.