Dana White defends Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz booking

Dana White, UFC Jacksonville, Anthony Smith, Glover Teixeira, Sean O'Malley

Dana White has thrown together a blockbuster UFC card for May 9, and of the key features of this event is a bantamweight title fight between champ Henry Cejudo and challenger Dominick Cruz.

While the card as a whole has fans very excited, this Cejudo vs. Cruz fight has generated a bit of criticism from some members of the MMA community.

The bout’s critics point to the fact that Cruz has not fought since a 2016 championship loss to Cody Garbrandt. At the same time, bantamweight contenders such as Petr Yan, Aljamain Sterling and Cory Sandhagen are on impressive win-streaks in the division and have arguably already earned title shots themselves.

Contrary to these criticisms, White believes Cruz’s status as one of the best bantamweights ever makes his title shot more than justifiable.

“He’s still one of the best in the world,” White told ESPN during a recent Instagram live session (transcript via MMA Fighting). “He’s a guy who has been incredibly plagued with injuries throughout his career but he’s still looked at as one of the best in the world.

“For a guy like Henry Cejudo, who is literally willing to fight anybody and wants to fight all the best, you want the Jose Aldo’s, the Dominick Cruz’s and those types of guys on your resume,” White added.

Prior to to losing the title to Cody Garbrandt, Dominick Cruz was riding recent wins over Urijah Faber, TJ Dillashaw and Takeya Mizugaki. Other highlights of his resume include wins over Demetrious Johnson, Scott Jorgensen, Joseph Benavidez, Brian Bowles, and Ian McCall. As White suggests, Cruz has been plagued by injuries throughout his career, having been forced to pull out of multiple fights for various health reasons.

What are your thoughts on this Dominick Cruz vs. Henry Cejudo fight? Do you agree with Dana White that Cruz is still one of the best in the world?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/27/2020.