As the flyweight and bantamweight divisions adjust in the aftermath of UFC 227, one man lurking in the shadows is former bantamweight kingpin Dominick Cruz. New flyweight champion Henry Cejudo has already stepped forward as a potential challenger for T.J. Dillashaw, but it is Cruz, a familiar foe of Dillashaw who, despite picking up the victory in the first go-round, wants to run it back so that he can reclaim his bantamweight championship.
“I know I deserve that title shot,” said Cruz on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday, “because I defended that title more times than anyone in the history of the division.” Cruz went on to chime in on the “greatest bantamweight of all time” debate, which has seemingly narrowed to a two-person argument.
“The problem is, I beat him already,” Cruz said. You can’t be the best unless you beat the guy that beat you. It’s just common sense. Everybody in the world knows that, including him.
“It’s good that he’s hyping himself up to think that,” Cruz said in reference to Dillashaw’s belief that it is he who is the greatest bantamweight of all time and not Cruz. “It is. That’s what you’re supposed to be thinking,” Cruz said. “But I’m still right here, very relevant, regardless of the multiple injuries that I’ve had in my career. I think everybody in the world knows that I’m still extremely relevant, probably the only guy who will beat him in this division.”
Cruz has been sidelined with an arm injury and has not competed since his UFC 207 loss to Cody Garbrandt. After rehabbing his surgically repaired arm, Cruz states that he is ready to go before the end of the year.
“I feel 100 percent,” Cruz said. “My body’s feeling good.”
With Dominick Cruz now injury free and T.J. Dillashaw aiming to solidify his place as the best bantamweight of all time, we may see another bantamweight rematch for the championship in the near future.
Do you believe T.J. Dillashaw must defeat Dominick Cruz to be considered the greatest bantamweight of all time?