Dominick Cruz reacts to the refereeing at UFC on ESPN 8: “Send him a gift basket”

Dominick Cruz, Marlon Moraes

Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz reacted to the officiating in the UFC Florida main event of Alistair Overeem vs. Walt Harris.

Harris hurt Overeem badly with punches in the first round, but referee Dan Miragliota let Overeem fight out of it. The veteran then came back to win via TKO in the second round. During the first round, some observers remarked that Miragliotta gave Overeem much more leeway than Cruz was given last weekend against Henry Cejudo at UFC 249.

After getting dropped by a knee, Cruz took a number of unanswered blows by Cejudo and the fight was stopped by referee Keith Peterson. The stoppage was questioned by Cruz immediately after the fact, and the former bantamweight kingpin later said that Peterson smelled like “alcohol and cigarettes” which questioned his integrity.

Many fans, media, and other officials defended Peterson, saying he is one of the best in the business. Top-rated official Herb Dean also stood up for Peterson’s character. But Cruz isn’t backing down from the way he feels about Peterson.

Following the Overeem vs. Harris fight, Cruz took to social media to comment on how he was a big fan of Miragliotta and his officiating. Here’s what Cruz on Twitter.

Loving this ref send him a gift basket

It’s understandable that Cruz was frustrated with the stoppage. In his first fight in over three years, Cruz was given a title shot against Cejudo but the fight did not go his way. After overcoming as much as he did, it’s not surprising that he was disappointed in the result of the fight.

But going after Peterson’s character the way he did and then continuing to hold a grudge a week later is something Cruz is going to have to just let go. At this point, his best bet would be to make a quick turnaround fight against a top contender at 135lbs and try to get back in the UFC bantamweight title picture as soon as he can.

Do you think Dominick Cruz has a point?