T.J. Dillashaw - Photo by Kyle Terada/MMAjunkie

T.J. Dillashaw Slams Dominick Cruz For Trying to Slide Into a Title Shot After Two Years Off

T.J. Dillashaw says that former champion Dominick Cruz has to do more than talk his way into a title shot after sitting on the sidelines since 2016.

T.J. Dillashaw is sick of hearing Dominick Cruz talk about getting the next shot at his title.

Following a first round knockout against Cody Garbrandt at UFC 227, Dillashaw didn’t have much time to celebrate before a cavalcade of contenders were asking for the next shot at his belt.

Perhaps the one at the top of the list was Cruz, who as the former champion not only felt like he deserved the shot but also believed it was the perfect fight to make considering he edged out Dillashaw to win the title back in 2016.

Cruz then lost the belt at the end of the year in a decision to Garbrandt and he’s been out of action ever since.

That’s why Dillashaw refuses to acknowledge Cruz as the true No. 1 contender because for as much as he’d like to avenge that prior loss, he won’t allow the former champion to back door his way into a title shot without actually earning it.

“The one thing I have against Cruz is that he feels entitled to this rematch, he feels entitled to this title fight,” Dillashaw said when speaking to the ‘Below the Belt’ podcast. “You haven’t been active. If you had been active, sure you deserve the title match. But you want to be sidelined for two years saying that you’re ‘injured’ and then all of a sudden I’m looking for a contender and you want to be like ‘I’m ready’.

“You just want to pass murderer’s row up, you don’t want to have to challenge yourself whatsoever. To me it’s a little p–sy move.”

With contenders like Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes both champing at the bit to get the next crack at the belt, Dillashaw feels like Cruz should have to go through one of them before earning another title shot.

Dillashaw doesn’t like the idea that Cruz gets to sit and do nothing to fight for the title while other fighters are scratching and clawing their way into contention only to watch a former champion get the opportunity by just having a win over the current king at 135 pounds.

“Sure maybe you were hurt but get out there and prove yourself,” Dillashaw said to Cruz. “Get out there and beat Marlon Moraes and let’s do this dance. He hasn’t proved himself at all. Two years, he lost his belt, hasn’t fought in two years, been sidelined, and now he just wants to pop up and be relevant and feels like he has this entitlement. Makes zero sense to me.

“I have more finishes in the UFC than he has wins. Talk about who’s the greatest of all time in our weight class. I have more finishes than you have wins in the UFC.”

 

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.
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