This Saturday night (May 9), Cejudo will put his 135-pound gold on the line against Cruz. The title bout will serve as the co-headliner of UFC 249. It’ll be the first time “Triple C” puts his bantamweight gold on the line.
Dillashaw Sees Cruz Defeating Cejudo
Former bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw has suffered losses to Cejudo and Cruz. Speaking to ESPN, Dillashaw expressed his belief that Cruz’s style may be too much for Cejudo to handle (h/t MMAMania.com).
“I actually think Cruz wins the fight, I think he wins a decision,” Dillashaw told ESPN. “I don’t think Cejudo is all he cracks himself up to be. He’s very good, don’t get me wrong. He’s a great athlete, he’s done some amazing things in the combat world. But I don’t think he’s to the level of what Cruz can show him. It’s gonna be difficult for Cejudo to deal with Cruz’s awkward movement.”
Dillashaw went on to say that despite Cejudo’s accomplishments as an Olympic wrestler, he feels that Cruz has the edge in MMA wrestling.
“I think MMA wrestling is a completely different sport,” Dillashaw said about the Olympic gold medalist. “I think the distance control that Cruz has is going to be one of Cejudo’s biggest challenges. He’s not gonna be able to get a hold of Cruz. If he does, he isn’t gonna be able to hold him down. It’s not like Cejudo is a jiu-jitsu expert where he’s gonna take advantage of Cruz giving him his back. Because Cruz gives up his back constantly when he gets taken down, but he uses it to get back to his feet. I think Cruz’s scrambling ability and his MMA wrestling will be an advantage for him, too.”
Dillashaw has been sidelined due to a suspension under USADA. The former 135-pound king had to vacate his gold due to EPO use. He was given a two-year suspension. Dillashaw will be eligible to return to MMA competition after Jan. 18, 2021.