It was back on October 18th, 2008, that one of the most bizarre moments in MMA history took place as Dominick Cruz was challenged to a sparring match by an alleged ninja. At the time, Cruz was still in the relatively early days of his MMA career although he did hold an impressive 11-1 professional record and had already unsuccessfully challenged Urijah Faber for the WEC Bantamweight title the previous year. At the time of the interaction with the ninja, Dominick Cruz was actually starting to get ready for a fight against Ian McCall that was just a little over three months away.
Cruz was challenged by his opponent to a sparring match in which he showed the clear difference in skill between him and the challenger, comfortably defeating him without much trouble at all. It should come as no surprise either considering that this was at the beginning of an unbeaten streak that would last another eight years. In that time, Cruz would fight his way back up the WEC rankings and find success in his second attempt at capturing the Bantamweight title, defending it twice. The UFC had already bought WEC at this point and after his second defense, they merged the WEC divisions below Lightweight into the UFC in order to bring everything under one banner.
This meant that Cruz was became the first holder of the UFC Bantamweight world title as the reigning WEC champion, and he defended that title twice again before injuries cost him the title. When Cruz made his comeback in 2014, he hadn’t fought for almost three years but picked apart Takeya Mizugaki with ease and earned himself a chance to reclaim the title he never actually lost against TJ Dillashaw. He did just that and had another relatively short title-reign before losing it to Cody Garbrandt and failing to recapture it against the then-champion Henry Cejudo. Cruz continues to fight in the UFC and no doubt looks back on this moment as a bizarre footnote in an illustrious career at the very top of the sport.
The footage of Dominick Cruz having a sparring match with an alleged ninja was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of Jiu Jitsu World:
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