During Cruz’s reign as WEC and UFC bantamweight champ, his footwork, agility and striking proved to be too much for many great fighters, including Demetrious Johnson, Joseph Benavidez and Urijah Faber among others (yes, yes, Faber beat him once). Then Cruz went down with a couple of knee injuries, returned to bomb out Takeya Mizugaki last September, before injuring his knee again.
Well, over the years Cruz has developed quite the rivalry with Faber and his Team Alpha Male buddies, like Dillashaw. If Cruz can return to the Octagon in early 2016, he’s expected to face the reigning champ for the title he never actually lost.
As a result, the two have been trading verbal ‘pleasantries’ in the press as of late. Case in point, Dillashaw recently had this to say about Cruz’s vaunted striking on the “MMA Hour” (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“For one, he switches stances to run away and throw one shot,” Dillashaw said. “I’ve never even seen him throw a combo or look that great from the opposite stance. You know? I think I’m leaps and bounds ahead of him on my standup. I think I’m going to prove it, when we fight he’s going to get knocked out.”
“I think I’ll finish Cruz faster than I finished Barao,” Dillashaw added. “Cruz has got a crazy style. But I think I’m going to finish him quicker than I finished Barao.”
That would be pretty impressive. Will it happen though? Hopefully we’ll get to find out sooner than later. Dillashaw-Cruz has the potential to be something very special.
Cruz has spent a couple of years on the sidelines during this run, but the 30 year-old is currently riding an 11 fight winning streak. The last man to defeat him was the aforementioned Faber in 2007…