UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw will be challenging Henry Cejudo for the flyweight title in the main event of UFC’s ESPN debut on January 19th in Brooklyn in a fight both fighters lobbied for after Cejudo dethroned longtime flyweight king Demetrious Johnson at UFC 227.
Dillashaw retained the bantamweight championship against Cody Garbrandt at the same event, establishing himself as the current king of the division after initially dethroning Garbrandt at UFC 217. However the other man in bantamweight GOAT conversation, Dominick Cruz, offered his thoughts on T.J. Dillashaw as the champion of the bantamweight division and Dillashaw’s upcoming bout against Henry Cejudo. And let’s just say Cruz’s assessment of his rival was a harsh one:
“I never missed Faber so much, and I never thought I’d say that,” Cruz said on “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show” on Monday. “But he is a real champion. And you think about who we’ve got there now, T.J. Dillashaw… runs for the fences. I mean, he’s got (Marlon) Moraes begging, knocking at the door. He’s got (Raphael) Assuncão banging at the door with these wins. He’s got myself, who was not begging, but was more than ready and the fans were more ready than me or anybody else to see that fight.
“And what did he do? He ran for the fences. He dropped to a division that’s already ending. How does that help anybody but himself? It doesn’t. And it doesn’t build the division. It hurts the division.
“So what are you really doing this for? You’re doing this to try to get another belt for yourself. And I get it. Facing an Olympic gold medalist in Henry Cejudo is not some easy task. I’m not saying that by any means. But what does it do for the division? Like, what are you really doing?”
Dominick Cruz then concluded that T.J.’s Dillashaw’s decision and its timing all boils down to one thing: selfishness:
“I never said it had to be me,” Cruz said of Dillashaw’s next opponent. “But it could have been Moraes. I mean, that guy’s been looking great. It could have been Assuncao again. There’s four to six people in there that he hasn’t even looked at. And he decided to drop in the division to face someone who’s not even in the rankings of our division. It just makes no sense really, for anything but himself.”
Dominick Cruz and T.J. Dillashaw are known for exchanging words in the past, but Cruz maintains that his opinion of Dillashaw does not stem from anything personal, but is merely an honest assessment of his decision to fight Henry Cejudo in a time where potential contenders are aplenty at 135:
“And I don’t hate T.J. Dillashaw, but the way he hops around is very interesting to say the least. I don’t see him being a champion that helps our division at all. I see him going to a place where he goes, I’m not getting the sales. That means people aren’t watching me. So fuck everybody, I’m going to worry about myself. That’s what I see from T.J. Dillashaw right now. And that’s what I saw him do to Team Alpha Male. And that’s why Faber and him had such a beef, because he came from such a selfish, selfish standpoint while Faber gave a lot to them.”
What are your thoughts on these comments from Dominick Cruz and his assessment of T.J. Dillashaw?