Dominick Cruz says he has respect for his upcoming opponent Marlon Vera despite the Ecuadorian seemingly not liking him.
The pair will lock horns in the main event at UFC San Diego this weekend in what will be an important match-up for the top of the bantamweight division.
‘Chito’ has been throwing verbal jabs the way of the former champion, calling him a little b*** and other slurs while accusing him of trying to avoid the fight.
The ‘Dominator’ appeared on the MMA Hour and told Ariel Helwani that Vera has always made a habit of ‘poking’ him in a manner akin to the great Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson.
“I’ve seen him, I’ve worked alongside him a million times and there’s never been (animosity from my side.) He would always come around and poke at me but I just never really bit because I’m not really attached,” said Dominick Cruz
“If he doesn’t like me I can’t control that either. I’ve got no problem with him. I’ve got respect for him. I love what he’s done. I’ve seen him on the bottom of the division rise to the top,” he added.
“The best way I could put it is kind of like Rampage Jackson. It’s not specific but it’s kind of like ‘poke, ‘poke,” the San Diego-native explained to Helwani.
Dominick Cruz is considered to be one of the greatest bantamweights of all-time. Having amassed wins over the likes of Demetrious Johnson, Urijah Faber and TJ Dillashaw, the 36 year old is a former WEC champion as well as having held the UFC bantamweight title for two separate reigns.
As one of the biggest names in the division, the former champ has been called out by the likes of Song Yadong and Frankie Edgar in recent times as well as Vera.
He’s currently riding a two-fight winning streak and sits at #8 in the rankings but was adamant about fighting someone ranked higher than him. Vera has won his last three fights and is ranked at #5 in the division and could turn out to be the perfect dance partner.
A big victory here for either man should propel them into title contention.
Who do you have winning on Saturday?
This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM
San Diego – you're in for a treat 🍿
— UFC (@ufc) June 22, 2022