Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has a long and unfortunate history of being forced out of fights with injuries. Earlier this month, the trend continued, as he was forced out of a planned UFC 219 scrap with Jimmie Rivera with yet another injury.
Speaking to MMAJunkie this week, Rivera explained that, despite Cruz’s apparent fragility, he wasn’t particularly worried about this fight getting scrapped.
“At the beginning I was like, ‘I hope he doesn’t get hurt,’” Rivera said. “Then day after day, I forgot about it because I have to focus on getting ready for a fight. I can’t train and have it in the back of my mind – ‘What if he gets hurt?’
“I have to train balls to the wall and assume he’s not going to get hurt and we’re going to fight Dec. 30. Now about five weeks out this happens.”
When Cruz did withdraw from the fight with an injury, however, Rivera quickly developed a theory as to why. In his opinion, it comes down to Cruz’s frenetic fighting style – a style that could foster injury.
“I’m not trying to be a dick about it or anything like that, but he’s out, he’s hurt, and he’s really accident-prone,” Rivera said. “He always gets hurt; it’s always one thing or another. It comes down to his style of fighting. My coach and I sat down and studied it getting ready for this fight, and it’s not practical. He’s more injury-prone than he realizes with his style of fighting.”
Whatever the case, Rivera harbors no ill-will toward Cruz and wishes him a quick recovery.
“I have nothing against him,” Rivera said. “It’s a game, and I know I have to go out there and talk smack on Twitter, but I hope he has a speedy recovery.
“No one likes to be hurt. It sucks to be hurt, and I’ve been there. It sucks. Hopefully he has a speedy recovery.”
Who do you want to see Jimmie Rivera fight next?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 14/11/2017.