Key to beating UFC champ Dominick Cruz is leg kicks, former opponent Ian McCall says

Ian McCall (L) and Dominick Cruz (R) trade strikes at WEC 38. (Photo by

Almost four years have gone by since UFC bantamweight Dominick Cruz (17-1) suffered his first and only professional loss, a submission at the hands of then-featherweight champion Urijah Faber. Since then, Cruz has dropped to 135 pounds and put on a dizzying display of footwork, head movement, accurate punches from odd angles, and even a few takedowns here and there for good measure.

Top bantamweights Joseph Benavidez, Brian Bowles, and Scott Jorgensen haven’t been able to figure him out. But former WEC fighter Ian McCall (8-2), who lost a three-round decision to Cruz in January 2009, told that none of Cruz’s opponents have come in with the right game plan. The solution to the Cruz riddle? Leg kicks.

“No one fights him with a good game plan,” McCall said. “Not to take anything away from him. He’s the champion for a reason; he is an incredible athlete and his work ethic is unbelievable.”

McCall tried to attack Cruz’s legs before suffering a shin injury in the first round that spoiled his plans.

“No one fights Dominick like they should,” he said. “Maybe the sport just hasn’t evolved where people are all doing game plans like they should. I had a game plan that I used for about two-and-a-half minutes” before the leg injury.

McCall added, “Someone who moves that much, you have to kick him. Obviously you’re not going to be able to hit him in the head very often.”

Stay tuned to later this week for a full feature on McCall, where he talks about his WEC stint, his Feb. 18 match against Jussier da Silva — arguably the best flyweight in MMA — and much more.

Please like & share: