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Modest Living Affords Dominick Cruz Luxury to Train Like Champ

For bantamweight Dominick Cruz, it's all about the preparation to become a champion. The time to train triumphs any material possession, and even if he successfully captures the WEC title this Saturday at WEC 47, he'll continue living a not-so-championship lifestyle.

In the 24-year-old's San Diego apartment, his kitchen, bedroom, and living room are all steps away. Correction, not even steps; the current No. 1 contender can reach those basic amenities by simply, turning around.

Despite fighting five times for the WEC and next week challenging for the belt, he currently lives in a one-room studio.

"I just want focus, man," Cruz told me in a recent media call. "I live modestly by choice because the less bills that I have, the less debts that I have is the less I have to work and make money to support those needs. The less things that I have to live with, the more time I can devote to training. I try to devote every waking hour I have into MMA, because my goal is to be world champion and be the best fighter I can be."

It's worked. His sacrifice has allowed him to fight at the elite level. Cruz's only career loss was to then-champion Urijah Faber as a featherweight, and since moving down to bantamweight one fight after the loss, has reeled off four consecutive WEC wins en route to Saturday's chance to face current 135-pound king Brian Bowles.

"If you look around, the opponents, like Miguel Torres and Brian Bowles, everybody in my weight class," Cruz said. "They're a bunch of beasts, man. I got to do everything I can to stay on top of my game. That's what living modestly does for me. It just keeps my head in a good level spot and I can devote 100% of my time to training and traveling wherever I need to get the best training partners possible."

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