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Midnight Mania! Dominick Cruz shuts down retirement talk, answers Jonathan Martinez callout

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UFC Fight Night: Vera v Cruz Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

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At 37 years of age, Dominick Cruz’s future is uncertain.

The former Bantamweight kingpin was building towards one last title run, winning a pair of hard-fought and quality victories in 2021. A Bantamweight title shot is never an easy objective, let alone given Cruz’s history with injuries, but “The Dominator” earned a Top Five showdown vs. Marlon Vera. Unfortunately for Cruz, he started well enough but ultimately fell to a brutal high kick back in August.

What’s next? Cruz spoke on The MMA Hour and confirmed that his fight career wasn’t over just yet. Though there are some improvements to be made, Cruz was overall happy with his performance against “Chito.”

“Right now, it’s been a month-and-a-half,” Cruz explained (via Bloody Elbow). “I’m running again, I’ve been lifting, getting the body strong. I’m still top-10 level. I don’t look at myself after that loss and go, ‘I’m not there anymore.’ I do the opposite. I go, alright, speed’s still there, power’s still there, all this stuff’s still there. We’ve just got to tighten up some defense.

“You either retire, or you lose, and those are your choices. I think a lot of people who retire, they didn’t lose because they retired. You can just keep going, but there’s a point where you’re just going to stack up too many losses because you’re not there anymore. I don’t really look at my last fight and go, ‘Ah, you’re not really at the level, these guys are just outclassing you.’ It wasn’t really that. So, just take my team, fix the fundamentals, and take it a day at a time. Get my body strong, and just train and love training.”

In addition, Cruz responded to Jonathan Martinez’s callout from last weekend’s UFC Vegas 62 event. In the co-main event, “The Dragon” smoked Cub Swanson, earning an extra $50k by destroying the veteran’s lead leg. Afterward, he respectfully challenged Cruz to throw down, and now the former champion has responded.

“What a sweetheart of a f–king guy — let’s be honest, the nicest guy on earth, calling me out, and it makes sense,” said Cruz, who was in the broadcast booth at the time. “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 are going to keep calling me out. I understand that. I can’t knock him. 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. It’s a business move, and it’s a little weird when you’re standing there.”

It remains to be seen when Cruz returns to action, as well as who will be his dance partner.

Insomnia

Two more have been released from UFC. It’s a bummer that Randy Costa’s first UFC run ended so harshly, he’s a fun scrapper.

On the plus side, Bobby Green isn’t going anywhere despite initial reports.

Australia’s top unranked prospect will return to the cage on November 19.

Petr Yan’s trash talk has been consistently funny even filtered through a translator.

More presser banter! TJ Dillashaw may have left Team Alpha Male in 2016, but that’s some TAM trash talk if I’ve ever heard it.

This simply cannot be real life, I refuse to believe it.

Jack Black and Stephen Thompson trading front kick knowledge is not something I ever expected to post, but I’m impressed.

Slips, rips, and KO clips

Excellent work from Bandel to recover from an error (facing the wrong direction on the original armbar, allowing Nardiev to escape into guard) by immediately attacking the other side!

Charles Oliveira tapping Darren Elkins from his back ages ago is an underrated feather in his cap. “The Damage” is basically f—king impossible to submit, I’ve seen him frustrate many black belts.

Uppercut, left hook, right hand — all thrown with power.

Random Land

Discuss and debate.

Midnight Music: Indie, 2011

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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