Things got a little tense in the Octagon Sunday night after Dominick Cruz reclaimed his UFC bantamweight title from T.J. Dillashaw.
Speaking with UFC commentator Joe Rogan, Cruz took a parting shot at his FOX Sports colleague and fellow analyst Kenny Florian. Florian was due to participate in the event's coverage from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, but had been suspended by FOX after concerns he plagiarized sections of a preview article.
Florian addressed the incident Tuesday alongside fellow UFC commentator Jon Anik, who stated that Cruz was "very regretful" of those comments behind the scenes in Boston.
"I talked to Dominick and he apologized to me," Florian said. "He said his emotions were running high and I get it. When I was fighting, you get emotional and you almost take it personally. Dominick is such a competitive dude that he took it personal.
"I picked T.J. and the only reason I picked T.J. was, yes, not only is he a great fighter, but Dominick hadn't competed in so long. With all the injuries, that's why I went with Dillashaw."
Florian remarked on the occasional awkwardness of picking colleagues to win or lose but chocked it up to just part of the business he's in.
"It was nothing personal and that's why I hate working with some of these guys because you do become very friendly," Florian said. "You respect guys and how could you not respect someone like Dominick Cruz? I also had worked with T.J. a bunch of times, as well, so that's what makes this sport tough.
"Picking fights is probably my least favorite thing to do. You don't want to offend anyone and I'm sure Dominick was probably offended by that but listen, the best revenge is getting the win and that's exactly what he did."
After the fact, Florian lavished praise on Cruz for his performance and wondered how much better he could have looked if not for the severely injured foot Cruz brought inside the Octagon.
"I think, to be honest, the only reason the fight was close in my opinion was because of the injury to Dominick Cruz. His leg. Clearly [Cruz] was not able to plant on that leg as the fight went on and later in the fight. He just couldn't move in the same manner and because of that, T.J. was able to land more shots."
Urijah Faber is loudly campaigning for another crack at Cruz but Florian isn't sure anyone aside from Dillashaw has a chance at beating the champ. According to Florian, Cruz and Dillashaw are out in front of the pack.
"I think the guy most deserving [of the title shot] is Dillashaw. Listen, I love Urijah Faber, I really do, I just don't see that fight being close between he and Dominick. I just don't, if I'm being honest. I think the last fight [at UFC 132 in 2011] was semi-close, but really it was just Urijah scrambling his brain to try to find out where Cruz was going to be in that cage.
"It's going to be even worse this time around. Urijah really hasn't changed that much. I don't think he's changed too much from the WEC days. Cruz just continues to get better. I don't think there's anyone else at 135 pounds who is close besides T.J. Dillashaw."
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The UFC 197 Press Conference takes place tomorrow at the MGM Grand. Open and Free to the Public. 11am PT. pic.twitter.com/N3mPjS9tPi— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 20, 2016
I am in stunned disbelief that I didn't get this fight @vitorbelfort is dodging me.— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) January 19, 2016
"@joerogan might need to go back and watch it again to hear how biased he was commentating"
Man I'm so lucky that I get to do what I love everyday of my life and put on shows for the... https://t.co/sbdyB9QfM7— TJ Dillashaw (@TJDillashaw) January 19, 2016
If I were to do a podcast what are some of the topics you would like discussed?— Frankie Edgar (@FrankieEdgar) January 20, 2016
@MoTownPhenom Back to the bottom you go & keep your plans to urself this time because they aren't working out.— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) January 19, 2016
@ALIAQUINTA you got gifted a decision your last fight and avoided me in July.Let's be real who else you bout to fight.Let's make this money— Kevin Lee (@MoTownPhenom) January 19, 2016
Oh little princess I make you eat you own toe hair. I Bethe and I back. https://t.co/lZoRy3kggm— Bethe Correia (@ThebETHEeffect) January 20, 2016
I don't have toe hair ... Maybe your girl does I have hairless toes https://t.co/EqDIU4K4pO— Jessica Eye (@jessicaevileye) January 20, 2016
Together at last.
Look who I ran into at shot pic.twitter.com/nprqjzmdjC— Tim Sylvia (@timsylviamma) January 19, 2016
Announced yesterday (Jan. 19 2016)
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