Following his impressive first-round TKO victory over the previously undefeated Henry Cejudo at UFC 197, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson stated the he was very interested in doing a “super-fight” with current bantamweight title holder Dominick Cruz.
“The Dominator” and “Mighty Mouse” have already fought once under the UFC banner, with Cruz earning a five-round decision victory over Johnnson in October of 2011.
Cruz spoke with Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of ‘The MMA Hour’ about the possibility of fighting “DJ” for a second-time, his words:
“You look at DJ and you can’t deny that he is the best flyweight ever,” Cruz said Monday on The MMA Hour. “He’s done great things. He’s defended the title. He’s going after a record of Anderson Silva’s right now. He’s said himself, he’s pretty focused on that more than anything, and I kind of understand that. But at the same time, I don’t pick my fights and I never really have. I’m not opposed to a fight. If that guy wants to come up to 135 and try to challenge me, I don’t run from anybody, so I’m there.
“But right now, you look at who I’m facing, the landscape of the 135-pound division is probably looking the best that it’s looked in the past four years, in my opinion. It’s looking really good and I’ve got plenty of guys in this division who are my size, my weight, who want to scrap and are in line and knocking at the door and saying they want to beat me up already. So, if you really look at things, I’ve got a long list of guys who want to fight.”
“I think people want to see Demetrious move up because he’s just smashing these guys at 125,” Cruz said. “Everybody wants to see that untouchable guy beaten. It’s just the way the world works. So, they want to see him move up and see how great he can do also. Like, if he’s that good against bigger guys too, that’s what the people are curious of.
“It’s not just about technique anymore. You’ve got to deal with three other things. You’ve got to deal with size, length, reach. All these other things just add so much to the equation. Plus, these guys who we’re fighting are the best in the world. It changes the fight so much, you have to respect body mechanics. And when size, length, reach, all that stuff is adding into the fight, it changes the fight’s dynamics completely. It doesn’t matter how good you are, because body mechanics can change everything.”
“The Dominator” finished the interview by making it clear that the 135-pound weight class was HIS division:
“Superfights are at their highest demand right now,” Cruz said. “People want to see them. People like them. And if that’s what the fans want to see, and that’s what the people are going to buy, throw us on a pay-per-view. If a million people want to see that fight, and we sell it, maybe that can be the first time DJ has some of the best sales he’s ever had in his career because people want to see him fight me. I’m not opposed to it.
“If you look at him at 135 pounds, he was beating a lot of people, but there was always a size advantage that gave him trouble that he had to work around. At 125, he has nothing to work around. These guys are his size, they’re his height, and he can use his fundamentals, his technique, and his speed at their fullest potential because of that. When he comes up to 135, things are different. I mean, he lost to me. He lost to Brad Pickett. That’s because of size advantages, and then technique on top of that. So he is good. He’s the best flyweight ever. I agree with that. But, when you’re coming up to 135 pounds, that’s my division. Period.”
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