Boasting a 20-1 professional record as a mixed martial artist (most of which were against some of the best 145- and 135-pound fighters on the planet), former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has accomplished quite a bit in the sport.
But with only one stoppage in the last five years, current UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw isn’t impressed with Cruz — who returns from his latest injury on Jan. 17 to challenge for the 135-pound title that was taken away from him after a long layoff.
Dillashaw, meanwhile, has finished four of his last five adversaries by knockout or TKO. But there’s a reason for the stark difference in stoppages, Cruz says.
“All my fights were for titles,” Cruz said alongside Dillashaw during an interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. “Top five guys. He’s fought one guy in the top five. How hard is it to finish guys in the top five compared to the top 15? He’s gotten finishes against guys in the top 15. That’s nothing. You haven’t fought anybody good. I beat up your coach.”
To Cruz’s credit, Dillashaw’s lone top-five opponent came in the form of Renan Barao, whom Dillashaw finished on two separate occasions at UFC 173 and UFC on FOX 16.
Cruz has shared the cage with and defeated former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber, current UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, Ian McCall, Joseph Benavidez, Brian Bowles and Takeya Mizugaki.
Dillashaw and Cruz bring their unorthodox footwork to the TD Garden in Boston on Saturday, Jan. 17 at UFC Fight Night 81.