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UFC 269 results: Dominick Cruz survives early knockdown, outstrikes Pedro Munhoz to win unanimous decision

UFC 269: Munhoz v Cruz Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Dominick Cruz was down but never out as he stormed back from an early knockdown to defeat Pedro Munhoz on the UFC 269 prelims.

After eating a hard shot in the opening round that put him on the canvas, Cruz came back with one of his best performances in recent memory as he continuously tagged Munhoz with stinging combinations until he completely took over the fight. When the final horn sounded, Cruz had thrown over 100 strikes more than Munhoz and that helped him secure the win with all three judges scoring the fight 29-28 in his favor.

Afterwards, Cruz admitted that he didn’t even really remember being knocked down but he appreciated the work of the referee to allow him to continue.

“I felt good tonight,” Cruz said. “Honestly, I thought I slipped so I guess that tells you where I was at. Thank you for the ref Marc Goddard for giving me a chance to rebound.”

Using his signature footwork to move and stay out of trouble early, Cruz was fast with his in and out movement while connecting with a couple of hard right hands. The momentum Cruz was building ended in a hurry after Munhoz clipped him with a jab and then a huge left hook behind it that put the former bantamweight champion down on the canvas.

Munhoz attempted to get the finish but Cruz was able to survive on the ground before eventually working his way back to the feet where he recovered enough to snap off some hard shots of his own before the first round ended.

Obviously trying to avoid the same thing happening again in the second round, Cruz was giving Munhoz headaches by sticking to his straight punches without getting too wild during his combinations. Cruz landed his best series of punches after tagging Munhoz with a stiff right hand and then he just kept hammering away until the Brazilian finally countered with a haymaker to back him off.

As the fight continued, Cruz was doing a good job keeping Munhoz on the end of his punches while also throwing a lot of volume with his strikes. Munhoz just couldn’t get out of the way of Cruz’s best shots and that also made him struggle when trying to mount any kind of offense of his own.

Cruz has now won two fights in a row as he begins to ascend back up the bantamweight ranks and as a former champion he remains a huge challenge for anyone looking for a fight at 135 pounds.