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Morning Report: Dominick Cruz to ‘silly’ T.J. Dillashaw: ‘Stop going down and looking for little baby boys at 125’

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Dominick Cruz
Dominick Cruz
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

When Max Holloway pulled out of UFC 222, the UFC was left to scramble for a pay-per-view worthy main event that could headline on short notice, and their first choice was a bantamweight title rematch between T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt. Garbrandt was all for the idea but Dillashaw declined, saying he wouldn’t defend his belt on four weeks’ notice when he was instead pursuing a superfight with flyweight champion and pound-for-pound king, Demetrious Johnson. Now it appears that fight is in the works for this summer, and not everyone is happy about it, including former bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz.

Speaking recently on MaxOut with Ed Mylett, Cruz showed some annoyance with the bantamweight title situation, suggesting that he should get to fight for the belt next and that Dillashaw wanted to take an “easy fight” instead of risk losing his title.

“I think [the championship] should be my next fight, but they play weird games where they want to give T.J. Dillashaw an easier fight because he doesn’t want to fight somebody hard right after he won the title” said Cruz. “He wants an easy fight. So he wants to fight somebody that he knows he can keep the belt a little longer before he knows he gets a really hard fight, whereas I went T.J. Dillashaw, Urijah Faber, Cody Garbrandt and then I lose the belt.

“Let’s go T.J.! I beat you. Don’t you want to get that back? Stop going down and looking for little baby boys at 125. Silly Dilly, that’s what I call him.”

Cruz was the first ever bantamweight champion but vacated the title after a string of injuries kept him sidelined for three years. In his absence, Dillashaw rose to prominence, winning the title off of Renan Barao and defending it twice before losing it to Cruz when “The Dominator” made his return. Cruz is the last man to defeat Dillashaw who has won three in a row since, and he doesn’t understand why Dillashaw wouldn’t be chomping at the bit to get a chance to avenge that loss.

“That’s the fight that matters,” Cruz said. “Everybody wants to see if he can beat me and everybody knows I can beat him. Why wouldn’t we see that again? I just don’t understand why it would go any other way. . .

“It’s silly to me, the game. If I lost to somebody and I was the champion, I’d want that fight right away. Yes, [I did that with Faber]. I had to get it back and I want to get my loss back from Cody too but he lost so I want the guy that’s the champion.”

Cruz has not fought since losing the title to Garbrandt at UFC 207. He was supposed to face Jimmie Rivera at UFC 219 in a title eliminator bout but was forced off the card after breaking his arm in training. It was yet another disheartening injury setback for Cruz but the former champion says he is almost back to full health and will be cleared to return to full training soon. When he does, Cruz hopes Dillashaw will stop “running” and realize the best option is for the two of them to rematch.

“I’m sad for him” Cruz explained. “He’s not challenging himself. He doesn’t get, doesn’t see the big picture. There’s only a few people that generate interest in this division and I’m one of them. There’s no Ifs, Ands, or Buts about it, so where are you going? That’s the fight people want to see. There’s only certain fight that create interest in this thing and he’s running all over the place, anywhere but where the interest is and it blows my mind. It blows my mind because how do you sell pay-per-views, how do you get people to tune in if you’re dodging the people that generate the most of that just because you want safety.”

Coincidentally, Dillashaw previously accused Cruz of opting for easier fights when he defended his title against Faber and Garbrandt instead of granting him a rematch, since their first fight was a contentious split decision. Now in the driver seat of this debate, Dillashaw seems in no hurry to fight Cruz when he can build his legacy by defeating the greatest fighter of all time. However, it does seem inevitable that Cruz and Dillashaw will meet again and when they do, “The Dominator” has a plan.

“I get the belt back by beating T.J. and then I give Cody a shot again because that’s what it is. That’s the way it should be because I lost to Cody so let’s see if I made the adjustments.”


MUST-READ STORIES

209. Nate Diaz says Tyron Woodley fight is “best option” for his return fight.

RDA. Rafael Dos Anjos says Tyron Woodley-Nate Diaz fight ‘would be a joke.’

Bus throw. Dana White says Tyron Woodley is ‘full of sh*t’ about Nate Diaz fight.

MMA. Dana White says Mayweather - McGregor rematch only happens under MMA rules.

185. Luke Rockhold thinks an impressive win over Yoel Romero makes him ‘real champion.’

Phil Brooks. UFC discussing CM Punk vs. Mike Jackson for Chicago pay-per-view in June.

Rampage. Quinton Jackson wants fourth fight with Wanderlei Silva next.


VIDEO STEW

Embedded 1 & 2.

The big Dana interview.

TTTHS.

Woodley all in on fighting Nate.

Behind the scenes with Rockhold before UFC 221.

Floyd Sr. doesn’t seem to think the MMA thing is gonna happen, or at least he isn’t promoting it.

Chuck still teasing that comeback, this time with Steve-O.


LISTEN UP

Heavy Hands. Previewing UFC 221 and the interim title fight.

The MMA Circus. UFC Belem recap and UFC 221 preview.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Congrats.

Meteoric rise.

The champion of a major sports organization calling someone “Qweefington.” SMDH.

And the rest of their interactions.

Truth.

Beef.

DJ’s the man.

Derrick Lewis put out an open call for people to spar him. This is the carnage.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Cris Cyborg (19-1, 1 NC) vs. Yana Kunitskaya (10-3); UFC 222, March 3.

Frankie Edgar (22-5-1) vs. Brian Ortega (13-0, 1 NC); UFC 222, March 3.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Not everyday you hear someone argue fighting the greatest fighter of all time is taking the easy way out but that’s just MMA in 2018, I guess.

Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

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