Generally in the MMA, it is a fighter’s dream to become a champion in the biggest promotion in the world, the UFC. However, the journey to reach the top of the mountain may be a tedious one, and by the time they reach their goal, the wear and tear of past years may have an effect on them.
This usually comes in the form of injuries, and unfortunately for some champions, it has been their clutch. For example, Cain Velasquez was the UFC Heavyweight Champion but was shelved for almost two years due to injuries after his title defense against Junior dos Santos. When he came back, he had so much ring rust, he lost to the UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion Fabrício Werdum in a title unification match. And speaking of shelved champions, UFC Featherweight Champion José Aldo is out until further notice for a rib injury. When he returns, he’ll fight in a title unification match against UFC Interim Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor.
From the aforementioned, it is safe to say that when a champion is injured, an interim champion is crowned. However, a champion can be sidelined only for so long, as Dominick Cruz found out. The former UFC bantamweight champion claims T.J Dillashaw is a “wannabe,” and that he hasn’t fought a “real champion” yet.
The harsh words were said during a phone interview on the MMA Hour, as reported by MMA Fighting. During his part, Ariel Helwani asked Dominick Cruz for his thoughts on T.J. Dillashaw’s win against Renan Barão. Apparently, Cruz was not impressed, claiming Dillashaw is “using his style.” Cruz then made it clear that Dillashaw is a “wannabe.”
“When I go out there, people will see that T.J. Dillashaw is nothing but a wannabe and I look forward to going out there and proving that I am the best in the world.”
It should be noted that Dominick Cruz probably has the right to say such words, given the fact that he never lost the UFC bantamweight championship, as reported by MMA Mania. Cruz says T.J. Dillashaw is being built up as the rightful champion of the division because he is not fighting him yet. Cruz, however, wants to make sure he is 100 percent ready before even attempting such a feat.
So, for the time being, T.J. Dillashaw is the “rightful” champion. But Dominick Cruz has laid down the boldest of claims. Pretty much what “The Dominator” said when he returns, “Killashaw” is in for a rude awakening once he realizes what it’s like to fight a real champion, not an “interim gatekeeper” like Renan Barão.
[Image via Ethan Miller/Getty]