Dominick Cruz is still unhappy with Keith Peterson.
At UFC 249, Cruz made his return to the Octagon to battle Henry Cejudo for the bantamweight title. It was his first fight since December of 2016 when he lost to Cody Garbrandt. Although he was coming off a long layoff, Cruz has done that before but this time around, the fight didn’t go his way as he suffered a second-round TKO loss.
Right after the fight, Cruz voiced his displeasure with the stoppage and nearly a year later, the former champ is still unhappy.
“I believe Keith Peterson gave him (Henry Cejudo) a nice gift with that (stoppage),” Cruz said to ESPN (via LowKick MMA). “I was, you know — yeah I got hurt and I shouldn’t have put myself in that position but I was — if you talk to the refs, and you talk to anybody — you have a couple things you need to do in order to keep the fight going. You need to be defending yourself and you need to be working into a better position. I was doing both of those things when the fight got stopped.“
“You can’t be knocked out when you’re standing up on your feet while someone’s hanging on you — like I was okay. So it was hard for me to get stopped when it wasn’t — it was a premature stoppage 100 percent,” Cruz continued. “I don’t believe I lost that fight, I believe Keith Peterson took that fight. Now I say that, in the midst of somebody who always takes responsibility for their losses. I lost to Cody Garbrandt. I think I probably won two out of five of those rounds against Cody, but he won three out of five, so I would say he won that fight. And I take responsibility for losing that fight (against Garbrandt). This fight (against Cejudo) was different — that’s what was tough about it.“
Not only is Dominick Cruz made about the stoppage, but he also revealed he will ask the commission to not have Peterson ref his fights. He isn’t sure that will happen but hopes the commission does honor his request.
“I’m gonna definitely request — and I can only hope and pray that the commission honors my request to not have him refereeing my fight,” Cruz said. “I can’t guarantee it, the commission does whatever they want and I respect them and their decisions, but I don’t believe he’s a competent ref with the way he treated my fight and the way he treated it before the fight happened.“
“The way that I saw him going through the rules in the back — I’ve never had a referee that I’ve had to say, ‘hold on, hold on, stop,” Dominick Cruz concluded. “Can you start all over again? I can’t understand anything you’re saying. And you’re not looking me in the eyes, are you here? Are you present?’ And I don’t know if he was nervous, or if he had something going on — but I never dealt with that. I’ve had twenty fights, twenty-five fights close to.“
What do you make of these comments from Dominick Cruz?