They came in reaction to Cruz’s comments, which he made during a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s “The MMA Hour.” During the interview, Cruz questioned whether Dillashaw deserves a title fight or not and said that it sounds like a “hook-up” from the UFC’s end.
Cruz’s rationale stems from Dillashaw’s failed drug test and subsequent belt stripping.
Dillashaw returned to action in July 2021 after serving a two-year suspension for testing positive for erythropoietin (EPO), a performance-enhancing drug. The failed drug test led to Dillashaw losing his belt as well.
In his comeback, Dillashaw battled Cory Sandhagen for five rounds and earned a split-decision nod from the judges.
The former two-time bantamweight king suffered a knee injury during the opening frame and he’s been sidelined since. However, Dillashaw is presumed by many as the next title contender to challenge champion Aljamain Sterling.
“He was suspended for cheating, so to get a shot after one win, OK, cool,” Cruz said to Helwani via MMA Fighting. “Sounds like a hook-up to me. He got two years off, didn’t really lose any money and then just gets right back up in [the title picture]. It’s not like he had an easy fight; [Cory] Sandhagen’s no joke. But still, one fight? Pedro Munhoz and all these other people that are in the division that have just been competing, competing, competing, it’s crazy.
“But I kind of get it, because when I was laid off for so long with my knee injuries, I came back, fought [Takeya] Mizugaki, blew my knee out again, and came back and got a title shot. But I hadn’t lost, and I hadn’t gotten in trouble for anything – I just blew my knees out. So, it’s a little different, and I got my shot that way.”
Dillashaw Said Cruz Is ‘Always Complaining,’ Called Him a ‘Salty C***’
During a recent interview with Submission Radio, Dillashaw reacted to his ex opponent.
“He sounds like a salty c*nt, to be honest,” Dillashaw said via MMA Junkie. “I just think he’s obviously jealous of me being able to stay in the top, you know – my layoff and how long I’ve been in the sport and me still be able to come back and prove that I’m still the best. And I did lose money, right? Me not fighting for two years while being a champion is a lot of money out of my pocket. (If I had) kept racking in the wins, getting title defenses, I mean, we’re talking about millions and millions of dollars that I let slip through my fingers because I made a f****** stupid mistake.
“So yeah, I paid my time, I came back and f****** grinded to get that win on f****** one leg and one eye, and there’s nothing you can do to deny me that it’s my shot. So like I said, he’s just being salty, and that’s kind of his personality, anyways. He’s kind of an unlikeable dude. I mean, I’ve always respected him and I think he’s got a good eye for stuff, but he’s got like this chip on his shoulder where he feels like everything’s owed to him, and he’s just like always complaining about s***.”
Dillashaw Isn’t Pursuing a Rematch With Cruz, Said He Has ‘Bigger Fish to Fry’
Despite Cruz’s two-fight win streak and No. 8 ranking, Dillashaw doesn’t see The Dominator competing for gold again. And Dillashaw also said he’s not chomping at the bit to avenge his loss to Cruz.
“It’s just his personality, and of course he’s going to say that,” Dillashaw said. “But it’s because he’ll never get there again. I don’t think he’ll ever have a shot to get the belt back, and that probably bothers him because at one time he was the best.
“I mean, I’ve got bigger fish to fry, to kind of be honest. If all the chips line up, I get my belt back, (Henry) Cejudo is saying (he’s back), you’ve got Jose Aldo. I think there’s a lot more dangerous and notable guys to fight.”
Dillashaw told the outlet that he is back to full training and is ready to sign a contract to fight Sterling.