TJ Dillashaw is never going to be confused with Conor McGregor when it comes to hyping up one of his fights, but he’s sure his upcoming opponent Dominick Cruz is writing checks with his mouth that he won’t be able to cash when they meet on Jan. 17 in Boston.
Dillashaw joined the Great MMA Debate podcast this week alongside his training partner Matt Brown, where he discussed the Cruz fight and their recent sit down with UFC commentator Jon Anik ahead of the fight that airs live on FS1.
Dillashaw says that Cruz might get the better of him when it comes to trash talking but when it comes to backing it up in the Octagon, the former champion might have just sealed his own fate.
"All that s–t he’s been talking, he’s got to back it up," Dillashaw said. "He’s just putting more pressure on himself and when he gets knocked out Jan. 17 he’s going to have to be an announcer for the rest of his life.
"I think he found his new niche and that’s talking. He does do a good job analyzing and he’s been trying to be Conor McGregor for this fight and hype it up. He’s already figured out his niche and that’s going to be sitting behind the desk and talking."
Cruz has only fought one time in the past three years due to multiple knee surgeries. While he’s been on the sidelines, the former bantamweight king has developed into one of the sport’s best analysts working on FOX broadcasts for the fights.
All that s–t he’s been talking, he’s got to back it up. He’s just putting more pressure on himself and when he gets knocked out Jan. 17 he’s going to have to be an announcer for the rest of his life.
— TJ Dillashaw
Even Dillashaw enjoys listening to Cruz break down the action, but he believes in the three years his upcoming opponent has been away, the sport has largely passed him by and he’s going to find that out the hard way once he meets him in the cage just over a week from now.
"I’m going to put it on him, I’m going to break him," Dillashaw said. "He’s kind of fought guys who stood still, stood right in front of him, and I’m not that kind of cat. My numbers on my strikes, my output is ridiculous and it’s going to break him.
"If you look at that Demetrious Johnson fight with him, Cruz couldn’t handle it. The only reason why he won that fight is by taking him down, holding him down and being the bigger fighter. He couldn’t handle Demetrious Johnson’s stand up and it’s going to be a different cat when I get in there."
Dillashaw has seen all the talk about Cruz’s style and fast footwork in the Octagon and as impressive as he’s been in the past, the current champion isn’t conceding that what his opponent is doing is really all that revolutionary.
Dillashaw has developed his own style with great footwork, hand speed and tremendous knockout power and he plans on teaching Cruz a few new lessons that he can learn from and talk about on television after he gets knocked out on Jan. 17.
"I’m ready for the five rounds for him ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ I have to chase him down a little bit. He likes to run around and kind of be a point fighter," Dillashaw said.
"He looks at this sport as points. He’s trying to get all these points and I’m trying to get in your face and knock you out and to really fight. It’s a different kind of mentality."