Cruz will face the Team Alpha Male fighter at UFC 207, which will go down on December 30th in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bout was booked in October, following weeks of speculation and debate, as to who would challenge for the 135 title next. Ever since Dillashaw lost via split decision to Cruz in January, the former champ has been campaigning hard for a rematch.
Those calls from Dillashaw reached new levels, after he decisioned fellow contender Raphael Assuncao in July. In fact, Dillashaw even offered to put up $100,000 of his purse, as a means to secure a title shot.
Well, recently Cruz spoke with MMA Junkie, and the renowned fighter didn’t have many kind things to say about Dillashaw. Case in point, while discussing the fact that Garbrandt was tapped for a title shot over Dillashaw, Cruz stated this:
“(Garbrandt’s) run by Faber and he’s good at talking toward title shots,” Cruz said. “The guy’s got eight title shots he’s never completed, so any guy with that background in media and understanding how to get a title fight, is going to help Cody get that title fight, and that’s what he did. He coached Cody into getting a position by doing what the big executives of the UFC want to see. T.J. Dillashaw left that coaching and he went to hang out with (Duane) Ludwig to sell peanut butter and talk about being a martial artist when that’s nothing that he’s actually trying to do. He’s actually just wanting a big fight, but he’s unwilling to do what it takes. He keeps his mouth shut but he’s finally just starting to open it up now. Now we’re starting to see who T.J. Dillashaw really is. He’s a whiny little crybaby when he doesn’t get his way. That’s basically about it.”
Wow. Now, Cruz’s insults aside, it is true that trash talking and finishing fights often goes further these days in securing a title shot, than your ranking (within reason of course). Garbrandt has taken out three straight opponents and has tossed verbal shots in Cruz’s direction the entire time. As a result, there was more buzz about Cruz – Garbrandt than Cruz – Dillashaw II.
Considering the abilities of Dillashaw, however, it would be pretty surprising if he and Cruz don’t throw hands once again.