“I’m a mixed martial artist. I can fight with him anywhere,” Cruz said during the UFC 165 Post Show on Fox Sports 2.
“I look at it as a chess match, literally. Renan Barao plays chess when he’s in there. I play chess when I’m there,” sad the bantamweight champion.
Cruz sees Barao as the best fighter competing in the 135-pound division aside from him. He realizes Barao’s 30-fight winning streak is no fluke and speaks highly of the interim titleholder.
“The most impressive part about Barao is the way that he mixes things up. He’s constantly shooting, kneeing up the middle, left hook, straight right hand and spinning back kicks,” said Cruz.
“My favorite thing that he does is he’ll throw the right hand and he’ll throw the left hook just to see you react,” explained Cruz.
“If he keeps landing the right hand than you don’t want to circle into the power of the right hand. So what does he do? When you go to the weak side he throws a spinning back kick. So now you have two power shots that he can land going right or left if you’re trying to defend against Renan Barao’s offense,” he added.