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UFC On ESPN 41: Can Dominick Cruz Reclaim His Spot At Top?

Dominick Cruz was the bantamweight king for several years.

Now, “The Dominator” is looking to reclaim his throne.

Cruz will face Marlon Vera Saturday night in the main event of UFC on ESPN 41. The event airs live on ESPN from the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California.

After suffering a pair of losses in 2016 to Cody Garbrandt and four years later to Henry Cejudo, Cruz returned with a vengeance. He topped Casey Kenney and downed Pedro Munhoz.

With a win over Vera, Cruz would definitely be right in the thick of title contention if that is what he wants. However, there could be another name sitting out there in Frankie Edgar.

Recently, Edgar made a challenge to Cruz for his retirement fight. Win or lose, it would seem to make sense from all perspectives – UFC, Edgar and Cruz – to pair the former champions together.

Vera will be a difficult out for Cruz. He holds the UFC bantamweight record for stoppage wins with nine, including a 2021 front-kick finish of Edgar.

Since a 2020 decision loss to Jose Aldo, Vera has reeled off three consecutive wins over Davey Grant, Edgar and Rob Font. The latest came in a main event, as Vera imposed his will for five rounds and 25 minutes.