Dominick Cruz: Henry Cejudo win at UFC 288 would’ve been ‘catastrophic’ for 135 division

Dominck Cruz is flabbergasted one choose gave Aljamain Sterling the fifth spherical of his UFC 288 title protection in opposition to Henry Cejudo – to him, that was the best body to provide to Cejudo.

However Cruz can be relieved that, judging questions apart, Cejudo’s late surge didn’t win him the struggle. He believes the bantamweight division would’ve taken an enormous hit.


“We’re fortunate that MMA didn’t get hit too exhausting by that, as a result of I believe that it will have been actually catastrophic to have Henry there [as champion],” Cruz stated Monday on The MMA Hour. “I believe Sterling is gonna be a lot better for the 135-pound division as champion. I simply assume he’s extra lively, exhibits himself as a champion that I’m proud to say he’s the champion at 135, the best way he carries himself, the best way that he fights, the best way that he exhibits respect, stuff like that.”

“So it’s cool to have him now. I’m glad he’s champion.”

If Cruz doesn’t sound like the most important fan of Cejudo, it’s not exhausting to see why. The 2 traded loads of trash discuss within the buildup to a struggle at UFC 249, and so they’ve since sniped at one another periodically.

Cejudo retired and relinquished the bantamweight title after defeating Cruz, denying the ex-champ the potential of a rematch in a struggle he felt was stopped prematurely. Cruz stated that call proved his rival took the simple means out.

“Anyone who comes and wins the title and retires once they’re of their prime is making an attempt to dodge stress,” Cruz stated. “Take into consideration this. If we’re in a gaggle of fifty individuals, and we’re all coaching, all of us MMA fighters, and we’re multi functional room coaching. Let’s simply say it’s a coaching session, and Henry knocks anyone out in the midst of that coaching session, after which walks off the mat and lets us all practice for the subsequent three hours, after which he comes again after three hours and goes, ‘OK, I’ll provide you with guys an opportunity to finish with me right now.’

“He simply rested for 3 hours. However all of us stored working within the USADA testing pool, and whereas all these guys are watching us, drooling able to get that subsequent spot. You know the way a lot stress that’s? Once I had three knee blowouts, a blown-out shoulder, busted arms, and I’m within the USADA testing pool, and I’ve bought individuals calling me out each week, telling me that I must get on the market and compete. That’s loads of stress.”

Cruz returned to the octagon after his loss to Cejudo to win his subsequent two fights, besting Casey Kenney and Pedro Munhoz. A head-kick knockout to Marlon Vera once more stalled his marketing campaign to recapture the UFC bantamweight title. Many anticipated him to retire, however he didn’t concede.

Even now, Cruz doesn’t contemplate himself out of the bantamweight image. A struggle with Sterling is a brand new problem, and theoretically, it’s nonetheless within the realm of chance. That’s one more reason he could possibly be glad that “Funkmaster” stays champ.

“That is what individuals dodge once they retire – they dodge the stress, they dodge USADA coming in the home, they dodge the pool, they dodge the work, they dodge the warmth, and I don’t respect that,” Cruz stated. “Aldo by no means dodged the warmth. He stayed in it. He’s nonetheless staying in it. I believe that Henry would have dodged the warmth, and it will have been exhausting for the bantamweight division.”