As a child, WEC bantamweight Dominick Cruz didn't have a lot of the simple things most kids did growing up. Despite the financial burdens, Cruz always found an escape through athletics. He exploded onto the professional MMA scene going 9-0 before losing to Urijah Faber at WEC 26. The now 14-1 Cruz admits it's his hunger, born of the strife he endured in his youth, which keeps him motivated.
"I grew up pretty poor," Cruz said. "I didn't really have a lot of the things I wanted. I never really got the new shoes or never really had the nice clothes growing up. Ever since then I have just been working for everything I got and really, the only thing that's kept me happy is some kind of athletic event. Whether is wrestling, football -- something. I found myself taking a knack to that to keep me happy. This is what everything I've done since I was 10 years old amounts to. My whole life has been set out to do something great. To be great and not just mediocre. I want to be the best in the world. I don't think you can be the best in the world unless you have that hunger. Hunger is what's going to separate you from everyone else. I'm as hungry as anybody could be (smiles)."
On March 6 at WEC 47 the California-native will fight for the WEC bantamweight title against current champion Brian Bowles. The undefeated Bowles is known for the power in his hands and his unique ability at bantamweight, to end a fight at any time with just one punch. Cruz, who may well be the quickest fighter Bowles has ever faced, plans to use his speed to frustrate Bowles and then pick the champion apart.
"It's all about timing," Cruz said. "When he goes to throw that power punch, that's when he is going to get frustrated missing me, make a mistake and that's when I find my opening. This is going to be a fight of power versus speed. I need to go in there and keep my head moving, keep light on my feet and make sure he doesn't do damage on me. Slowly but surely, I'll pick him apart."