MMA, Dominick Cruz

T.J. Dillashaw calls Dominick Cruz a “One-trick pony”

T.J. Dillashaw knows a thing or two about Dominick Cruz, who challenges UFC Bantamweight Champion Henry Cejudo for the strap at UFC 249 this Saturday, May 9.

Dillashaw lost to both of them actually. While joining MMA Tonight on SiriusXM Fight Nation, Dillashaw was asked about Cruz’s ability to make adjustments on the fly.

“Cruz doesn’t really switch up his game plan though, he’s kind of a one-trick pony,” Dillashaw said on Wednesday night, May 7.

“It’s more of the fact that it’s just hard to figure out. He doesn’t fight like anyone else.”

Dillashaw lost his title to Cruz by split decision at UFC Fight Night 81 on Jan. 17, 2016. Cruz defended the belt once against Urijah Faber, then lost a decision to Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207 on Dec. 30, 2016. 

Dominick Cruz became the UFC’s first-ever bantamweight champion when World Extreme Cagefighting [WEC] was purchased by Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC in 2006. Cruz defended the belt twice before suffering an ACL injury, which sidelined him for two years.

He then suffered a groin injury ahead of his expected fight with Renan Barao at UFC 169 on Feb. 1, 2014. Cruz vacated the belt, only to win it back two years later against Dillashaw. 

Although injuries plagued Cruz throughout his career, he always seemed to make it back to the top. Cruz is coming off a loss, but he’s still a former two-time champion

“He’s got a really good game plan from the beginning and he sticks to it,” Dillashaw said. “He gets you to play his game, he gets you to chase him and he takes advantage of it.”

On the other hand

Cejudo also got the better of Dillashaw, winning by a first-round TKO at UFC on ESPN+ 1 on Jan. 19, 2019. Cejudo followed up with third-round TKO against Marlon Moraes at UFC 238 on June 8, 2019.

Dillashaw talked about Cruz’s game plan with a lot of respect on Wednesday night. He is looking forward to seeing how two of his former opponents stack up on Saturday.

“I think the biggest X-factor is the distance and the control that Cruz is going to keep on Cejudo. Cejudo has that real wide karate stance now and it’s going to be hard for him to close the distance with it. It’s good for backing up, but it’s not good for cutting a guy off and keeping the pressure on him,” Dillashaw said. “But we’ll see man, it’s definitely an interesting fight. I am very intrigued by it.”

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