IN THE CORNER: UFC’s Dominick Cruz returns home to resume title quest

The San Diego area’s standing as a hotbed for beat sports activities gained a improve this week with news that UFC Combat Night time will maintain an eight-bout major card on Aug. 13 at Pechanga Arena.

San Diego indigenous Dominick Cruz will be highlighted in a 5-spherical bantamweight (135 pounds) bout towards Marlon “Chito” Vera, who life and trains out of Orange County.

Tickets go on sale this morning, and supplied how modern UFC gatherings have played out as effectively as the nearby flavor included with Cruz/Vera, enthusiasts need to expect a whole dwelling.

Cruz (24-3-) is coming off a unanimous conclusion victory in excess of Pedro Munhoz at UFC 259 final December and says he is emotion as good bodily as he has in “years” soon after currently being hampered by a string of accidents.

“Feeling 100 per cent,” said Cruz, who splits time concerning a dwelling in Las Vegas and San Diego, the place he trains at Victory MMA. “I haven’t experienced the chance to definitely practice by a string of fights in a even though so that is been great. Just to be able to practice — sparring, wrestling — and have no setbacks, it feels so diverse for me.”

Vera (19-7-1) has gained 3 straight fights and appears poised for a title shot in the around potential.

A victory about a fighter with Cruz’s resume — he is a two-time bantamweight champion, retains the most bantamweight wins in history (13) and assisted the division increase in popularity — would start the 29-12 months previous Vera to even further stardom.

For the 37-yr old Cruz, a solid efficiency in victory would remind absolutely everyone that he remains a key drive and probably established him up for a further title shot.

As items presently stand, all of the top 10 bantamweight contenders, including present-day belt holder Alajim Sterling, are scheduled to contend in the following a few or so months, so movement up and down the division’s rankings will be fascinating to observe.

According to UFC’s hottest formal rankings, Vera is ranked fifth when Cruz is slotted eighth.

“I necessarily mean I’m not battling up the ladder if I didn’t assume I could be a titleholder,” Cruz reported. “I’m not getting a fight in my hometown versus a top rated competitor like Vera for absolutely nothing. At this place, I have won two world titles. The target is to win a third and be the very first to do that.”

The previous time Cruz fought in San Diego was January 2009 when he defeated Ian McCall in a Globe Extreme Cagefighting function at the then-San Diego Sports activities Arena. The opportunity to acquire on Vera in entrance of a hometown group held exclusive attraction.

“It all seriously lined up perfectly,” Cruz reported. “I was on the lookout for a summer struggle against a bigger ranked opponent and to have it in this article just designed it even greater. It is likely to be a clearly show.”

The choice to hold a further large event in San Diego would show up to be a no-brainer for UFC presented the area’s track record for supporting combat sporting activities, not to mention the reality that so lots of boxers, mixed martial artists and other existing and former rivals live and educate below.

The Cage Warriors sequence has held a number of activities in San Diego in new yrs, including the June 10 MMA party held in opposition to the aesthetically fantastic backdrop offered by Humphrey’s by the Bay.

Former UFC star Chris Leben, who designed his professional debut as a referee and decide at Cage Warriors 139, opened the Instruction Middle in Pacific Beach front previous November in aspect due to the fact the location is so fertile for overcome sporting activities.

“I signify, I was in Hawaii before and I’ve been listed here for various many years so I guess you can determine that component out,” Leben joked. “But actually, San Diego has been a mecca for a lengthy, extensive time heading back to the pretty infancy of UFC. Some folks argued that I shouldn’t open up my personal fitness center below, that is it is saturated, but the way I see it, this is the shark’s tank. No better area to be and the sport just retains expanding. So it would make total perception for UFC to get back listed here for a large celebration.”

“In the Corner” will show up every other Friday. Carter is a freelance writer. He can be achieved at [email protected].