UFC 269: Dominick Cruz Survives Near-Finish, Then Styles On Pedro Munhoz

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Pedro Munhoz and Dominick Cruz, UFC 269
Pedro Munhoz and Dominick Cruz, UFC 269 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

A very promising bantamweight pairing in Dominick Cruz and Pedro Munhoz had been overshadowed during UFC 269’s Fight Week. That was thanks to Cruz throwing broadcast colleague Daniel Cormier under the bus when he claimed DC didn’t do his homework preparing to cover fights.

The ensuing drama — the pair later sat down for an awkward face-to-face, with Cormier suggesting Cruz had been unprofessional by airing his feelings in public — took attention away from the fight, and perhaps even more so from Munhoz, who was all but an afterthought until the fight arrived.

That said, he got Cruz’s attention almost immediately on Saturday.

After a touch of the gloves, the fight started with a high kick from Cruz that was blocked. Munhoz attacked with his infamous low kicks early. Munhoz barely missed with a huge high kick. Cruz landed a 1-2. Munhoz landed a jab that stung Cruz. Then, Munhoz landed a huge left hook that dropped Cruz and swarmed him. Munhoz landed another punch that dropped Cruz face first, but Cruz survived. Somehow. NUTS. Both fighters got their feet, and Cruz landed a punch of his own. The round ended with Cruz landing a combo.

What a first round that was. Had the ref ended things, there would have been little complaint, but instead, Cruz and Munhoz delivered two more highly entertaining rounds.

Round two started with both men throwing combos— Cruz landed. Cruz threw a jab, followed by a high kick. A 1-2 landed for Cruz, and Munhoz landed a low kick. Vintage Cruz; he went in and out, landing a right hand. Another 1-2, followed by a heavy left hand by Cruz. Forty seconds left, and Cruz unloaded several combos on Munhoz. The round ended with Cruz landing on Munhoz. Huge second round for the former champion.

Round three started with a right hand from Cruz. A takedown attempt from Cruz was defended. Cruz landed another step in 1-2. Munhoz landed a clean right hook that got Cruz’s attention. Cruz threw a step-in knee and then shot for a takedown, but Munhoz defended. A 1-2 landed from Cruz. Cruz landed another combo that hurt Munhoz. A leg kick from Munhoz missed. Munhoz threw a body kick, but Cruz caught it and threw him to the ground. The round would finish out with Cruz landing one last time— likely ahead on the scorecards despite the rough start to the fight.

Quite the comeback from Cruz, going from nearly out in the opening round, to a unanimous decision victory.

Official Result: Dominick Cruz def. Pedro Munhoz by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

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