The date was December 31st, 2019 New Years Eve! I was cornering my longtime friend and training partner, Brendan Loughnane at Madison Square Garden when myself, along with the Cruz Merch Team launched the official Dominick Cruz Shop Site. It was the end of a successful and prosperous, yet challenging year. I spent the entire year rehabilitating a torn shoulder and countless hours of physical therapy – post surgery.
I was training, traveling, commentating while building the Cruz brand and was ending the first year as host of ESPN’s Unlocking Victory, alongside Gilbert Melendez. I was nervous and optimistic as my vision was to build a merch brand that represented the fighting spirit and the can do attitude. Overcoming obstacles and dealing with adversity is the everyday lift of a fighter, and I wanted my merchandise to mirror the heart, sweat and tears that comes with hard work and dedication to one own craft.
After a year of significant challenges, including a pandemic and a hard fought title bout, the Cruz Merchandise Brand continued to grow thanks to the persistence and dedication of The Cruz Merch Team which includes my very own mother and Cruz Merch President, Suzette Howe, Web and graphic designer Pritesh Chauhan, Cruz Blog Writer, David Welch and Dominator MMA COO – Orlando Jimenez.
Lastly, the Cruz Merch launch, online store, and overall success could not be possible without the endless support and partnership of our loyal Cruz Customers, Fans and family. Without you this milestone would not be possible. Thank you for riding with me and walking into that UFC Octagon with me as TEAM CRUZ. Here’s to another year of being great together, and being Dominators!