BOSTON—Dominick Cruz does not believe T.J. Dillashaw represents his stiffest competition.
“I think he’s better than [Urijah] Faber for sure,” Cruz tells Breitbart Sports. “I think Demetrious Johnson would run circles around him, no question in my mind.”
Cruz and Dillashaw square off in the main event of Sunday night’s UFC card on Fox Sports 1 in Boston for the bantamweight title. Cruz shows just one loss on his record—to Dillashaw’s mentor-turned-enemy Urijah Faber—which he avenged. Dillashaw, for his part, comes off two of the most impressive performances in the short history of the UFC bantamweight division in his decision and TKO victories over Renan Barao.
Cruz calls his opponent “stupid.” Dillashaw labels his adversary “childish.” The former champ plays up the current champ’s row with Faber. The current champ laughs it off as mind games. The challenger says Dillashaw plagiarized his footwork. Dillashaw counters, “He’s not the first one to create footwork. He’s not the first one to ever use a jab or a feint. What am I stealing jabs from people now, too?”
Cruz never lost his featherweight belt to a man. He lost it to an injury. So, he sees himself, rather than current champion Dillashaw, as the man to beat in the division.
“He’s been beating up Faber for years,” Cruz says of Dillashaw’s gym work at Team Alpha Male, which he recently defected from. “That’s actually how he’s adjusting how he would do against me. He’s got to look at all the guys that I’ve fought, how he does with them in practice, and then how I did with them in the fight. That’s how he’s rating himself.”