He left the cage as the champion too.
His opponent, Demetrious Johnson, was thoroughly testing him in the speed department and hanging with him strike for strike.
So how was Cruz able to dominate "Mighty Mouse" and come away with a solid unanimous decision victory, only losing one round on one judges' scorecard?
We'll take a closer look at the 135 pound title scrap and find out what's next for both fighters after the jump.
In the beginning, Johnson was clearly hanging with Cruz and pushing the pace. Cruz, normally known for his crazy footwork, constant movement and odd striking angles was completely getting neutralized by the speed of "Mighty Mouse."
Notice here how after initially using a whizzer to fend off the takedown attempt, Johnson launches a barrage of offensive strikes in Cruz's direction.
While Cruz is normally known for being the man pushing the pace, it's Johnson who's coming after him, making him go backward and staying in his face with punches and even kicks.
The Matt Hume-trained Johnson is giving "The Dominator" no room to breathe in the stand-up and Cruz had some serious issues with spacing early because of his aggression there.
The big neutralizer for Cruz were the takedowns. It seemed like he fended off nearly every takedown attempt from Johnson while really outworking the young grappler in that department throughout the rest of the fight.
While the first two rounds were hotly contested and fans may have wondered whether Johnson had an upset brewing, Cruz made a statement in the final three rounds with aggressive takedowns, guard passing and some serious top control.
This is a pretty damn rare move in an MMA fight and Cruz pulled it off with ease, actually doing it three total times in this five round affair.
Notice how Cruz arches his back to get full torque on his slam and keeps his arms locked so he can turn into Johnson and take top position while his opponent is temporarily stunned.
In rounds three, four and five, Cruz was 2 for 3, 2 for 4 and 3 for 5 respectively with his takedown attempts and he passed Johnson's guard a total of six times, even nearly finishing the fight in round three with a rear naked choke before "Mighty Mouse" squirmed free of danger.
In the end, while Johnson was able to go toe-to-toe with Cruz in the striking department, something no fighter had been able to do before, he couldn't handle the wrestling of the champion. It was a tremendous change in gameplan for "The Dominator" not even two rounds into the fight. Putting "Mighty Mouse" both in the clinch and on his back completely nullified his speed.
For Demetrious Johnson, the fight was much closer than the judges' scorecards. "Mighty Mouse" put on a hell of a fight. His biggest issue was his inability to stop from being put on his back and especially his inability to bounce quickly to his feet once Cruz took him down. He had to work extra hard to bring the fight back to the stand-up portion and that ate precious seconds off the clock.
The AMC Pankration product will be given a tough fight for sure as he's still one of the top bantamweights on the planet (and will easily be one of the top flyweights on the planet once the UFC actually creates the division). Perhaps the loser of the upcoming Brian Bowles vs. Urijah Faber fight will be on tap for "Mighty Mouse" or even the loser of the Brad Pickett vs. Renan Barao match at UFC 138. Either way, he'll remain at the top of the division until 125 enters the picture.
For Dominick Cruz, this was a tremendous showing of how a fighter can adapt due to having extremely well-rounded skills. He wasn't getting lit up on the feet or anything, but the fight was closer than he liked in that department so he switched things up and utilized his offensive grappling game. His size advantage played a huge part in helping him control Johnson.
His next opponent has already been determined. It will be a rematch either between the man he originally beat for the title, Brian Bowles, or the man he defeated earlier this summer who is the only fighter to ever best him in the cage, Urijah Faber. In either match-up, Cruz will have the speed advantage again and will be showcasing that unorthodox attack.
So what did you think Maniacs?
Did Johnson make you a fan with his effort last night? Can Dominick Cruz be stopped in the UFC bantamweight division? If so, who do you think has what it takes to pull it off?
For complete UFC on Versus 6 results, including blow-by-blow, fight-by-fight coverage of the entire pay-per-view (PPV) event, click here and here
All gifs by Zombie Prophet via IronForgesIron.com.