The co-main event at UFC 249 will be for the bantamweight title as the former champion Dominick Cruz challenges the reigning champion Henry Cejudo. While the bantamweight division continues on, former champion TJ Dillashaw is keeping his eyes on the action.
Cruz and Cejudo share one similarity, as they have both faced Dillashaw. Cejudo defeated Dillashaw in a flyweight fight last year, winning with a first-round knockout. Cruz and Dillashaw have also faced off one time against each other, with Cruz getting the win in that matchup by way of split decision.
Dillashaw is currently serving a two-year suspension but keeping an eye on the bantamweight division for his return. In an interview with ‘MMA Tonight’ on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation, Dillashaw broke down this Cejudo vs. Cruz matchup.
“Cruz doesn’t really switch up his gameplan though, he’s kind of a one-trick pony,” Dillashaw said. “Even though he’s got all this crazy movement, these angles and stuff, he still is a one-trick pony. He can’t really change up, he can’t be like ‘I’m getting beat up on my feet, I better take this guy down and use jiu-jitsu.’ He doesn’t have that. Cody Garbrandt, he needed to knock him out, there was no way he was going to beat him, but he can’t do that. He doesn’t have knockout power. It’s not like Cruz can really change it, it’s more of a fact of it’s just hard to figure out.”
As Dillashaw pointed out, finding ways to replicate and prepare for Cruz are tougher than most realize because his style is so unique.
“He doesn’t fight like anybody else,” Dillashaw said. “You can’t bring someone in and be like hey will you fight me like Dominick Cruz? He’s got a good gameplan from the beginning and he sticks to it and he gets you to play his game, he gets you to chase him, and he takes advantage of it. I think the biggest X-factor is the distance and his control of it.”
Having faced both fighters, Dillashaw added that he’s got some interest and intrigue into this weekend’s co-main event.
“We’ll see, man,” he said. “It’s definitely an interesting fight, I’m intrigued by it.”
What do you make of TJ Dillashaw’s assessment of his former opponent Dominick Cruz?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/8/2020