UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz knows he is in for a battle when he defends his title Saturday night against Demetrious Johnson.

Cruz-Johnson is the main event of UFC  Live 6, which will be broadcast live on the Versus Network from Washington, D.C..

“The Dominator” has been exactly that over the last three-plus years, as he is 9-0 since suffering his lone professional loss to Urijah Faber. That defeat came at featherweight, and Cruz (18-1) avenged it earlier this year by defending his title against Faber in winning fashion.

Now, one of the fastest fighters on the planet gets to step inside the Octagon against a man some say is even quicker in Johnson (10-1), who has won four consecutive bouts. And while many have let this fight slip under the radar as the featherweight and bantamweight fighters continue to build a reputation in the UFC, Cruz feels otherwise.

“We’re fighting for a world title – if that doesn’t get you hyped up, what does? This is fighting on the biggest stage on the planet for the highest accolade you could possibly get in fighting. I’m hyped every single time I fight,” said Cruz, in an interview with UFC.com recently. “I’m hyped to fight somebody new, I’m hyped to have a new problem to solve in there with a different opponent. DJ’s not somebody to look past. The guy’s an underdog that loves the underdog role, and uses it well to fuel him.”

While Cruz knows “Mighty Mouse” has the speed advantage in terms of takedowns and is a powerful wrestler, he feels his cardio is second-to-none. And don’t think for a second Cruz isn’t working to expand his skills.

“I’m always training, evolving and trying to get better,” Cruz said. “You fight me once, I’m one fighter, you fight me another time, I’m a different fighter. And the other thing is, I don’t fight everybody the same. Even though I’ve got the same sort of style, my game plan for every person is different. I change up my strikes, I change up the angles to a different side, and I have game plans according to what my opponents do for every fight.”


MMATraining Take: Cruz hasn’t finished a fight on his own since knocking out Kenneth Aimes in 2008, though he did get an early stoppage after Brian Bowles broke his hand in their title fight in 2010. While he tries to deflect any questions regarding his lengthy decision streak, this would be a perfect time for Cruz to go for a knockout or submission, as his fight will be on network television, providing a large audience the chance to see just how well-rounded he is.