Make no mistake — Dillashaw has a lot of respect for his opponent. He admits to wanting to be like him when he transitioned from wrestling to MMA.
With that said, the champ believes that he’s far surpassed Cruz’s level, and that he’s also a quite different fighter, despite any similarities that fans may think they see.
"People think because we both have footwork, that we’re the same fighter," he began.
"How aggressive I am (is one major difference between us). I’m looking to finish when he’s looking to not get hit. He’s using his angles to get out of the way. I’m using angles for a purpose. He’s a point-fighter. I’m trying to finish fights. I actually fight out of both stances, where he just kind of moves."
For all his confidence, the champ still knows that Cruz is a hard man to hit, much less beat. Dillashaw doesn’t mind giving his trash-talking opponent his due, so long as he gets to take some swings at him this Sunday.
"I was a fan of his when I got into the sport. I wanted to be him," he admitted.
"He’s a great fighter. I think he’s doing a little more talking than he needs to do and he’s going to pay for it."