An ex-UFC champion stunned the industry after his latest win at UFC 259 on Saturday at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. MMA bantamweight legend Dominick Cruz won his featured prelim bout against Casey Kenney by split decision. After the victory, Cruz called out Monster Energy’s Hans Molenkamp to face the ex-champ in a charity fight.
During the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Cruz claimed Molenkamp “holds fighters hostage” amongst other detestable things and revealed he’s ready to lock horns with him over those matters in a fight even though Molenkamp outweighs the 135-pounder by “over 100 pounds”.
— Tony Quant (@TopRopeTony) March 7, 2021
Rogan Shut The Interview Down
During the post-fight interview, Rogan claimed Cruz’s call-out was “political” and seems to have cut the interview short because of it.
Rogan asked Cruz what was next for him.
Cruz said, “…I would love to get a charity fight lined up. You know, this is a day and age, Joe, where a lot of people can take pictures next to Lamborghinis and post it on Instagram and claim the Lamborghini is theirs, right. So there’s a guy named Hans Molenkamp who has been holding a lot of fighters hostage and saying he’s an awesome pro fighter and that he can take out everybody…I would love for Monster to pick a charity of their choice and meet Hans. He’s got 100 pounds on me…How bout we do something for charity? He’s got a 100-pound advantage, and I think we could put on a good show for charity and make a lot of money for them. He’s been forcing us to comment on his photos, forcing us to do videos and pictures with him, just in order to hold our contracts hostage. So let’s see you put your money where your mouth is, Hans.”
That’s when Rogan interrupted, “I’m sorry this has become political….but, listen, Dom, I love you. Congratulations, sir…”,
Cruz replied, “Joe, this is not political. This is Monster Energy…”
That’s when the telecast quickly cut away from the interview, most likely because Monster Energy is one of the UFC’s biggest sponsors.
You can watch the interaction below.
— Stoned Again Bro (@lightitupdawg) March 7, 2021
The Athletic’s Jay Gross explained for his followers why Rogan cut the interview short.
Dom Cruz calls out Hans Molenkamp. That's very random. He's talking about being held hostage in his contract by Monster, which is the UFC's center of the cage sponsor and spends many millions of dollars with them.
OK … I'm sure he'll explain more.
— Josh Gross (@yay_yee) March 7, 2021
According to UFC News, Cruz’s victory earned the fighter his 13th in the bantamweight division. That’s the most in UFC history, though now it looks like he’s gunning for an even bigger challenge next.
More About ‘Polarizing Figure’ Molenkamp
To say Cruz’s call out of a Monster Energy executive was unexpected is putting it lightly. After all, Cruz is a 35-year-old former UFC champ looking to complete another title run, and Molenkamp is a heavyweight human being who isn’t a professional fighter.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto said Cruz’s call out seems “very personal to him.”
Dominick Cruz launches in on Monster Energy's Hans Molenkamp and says that's who he wants to fight next. Obviously very personal to him. That was kinda weird in that setting, but … good … win?
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) March 7, 2021
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani explained how Molenkamp, who runs the combat sports division at Monster Energy, is one of the most “polarizing” figures in the sport.
Hans is in charge of sponsorships for Monster. He is somewhat of a polarizing figure in the sport. Cruz has been with Monster for years. He was one of their first MMA fighters. Clearly, he isn’t a fan, though. https://t.co/e99BzvuANd
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) March 7, 2021
Heck, even UFC president Dana White has blasted Molenkamp in the past. Just about as soon as Cruz’s call-out was complete on Saturday did MMA fans on Twitter remind people of the UFC’s boss’s epic social media rant about Molenkamp last year.
In short, Molenkamp had posted on social media about how he was the one who connected White with a celebrity friend and White corrected him by calling him a huge joke.
Dominick Cruz calls out Hans Molenkamp from Monster Energy drinks who he claims “holds fighters hostage”.
— The Fight Bubble (@thefightbubble) March 7, 2021
You can see both the deleted posts over at Reddit.
White addressed the surprise challenge during the post-fight press conference.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) March 7, 2021
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