Dominick Cruz: TJ Dillashaw gets mad because what I’m saying is the truth
Over the last three years while dealing with injuries that sidelined his career, Dominick Cruz has become one of the most prolific talkers in the entire sport as he made waves for his innate ability to break down fights as an analyst and commentator for UFC broadcasts.
That experience on the microphone gave him plenty of ammunition when he did a radio tour with bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw a couple of months ago to begin promoting their fight.
Cruz enjoyed the banter although he says it was largely an uncontested fight because Dillashaw virtually refused to engage with him no matter what he said during the shared interviews.
"This is the thing with TJ, and I’ll tell everybody, and I’ll tell him too, because he doesn’t know it, just let yourself out," Cruz told FOX Sports. "He’s trying to be the good guy and be Mr. Pretty Boy and be all nice. He’s not nice. When I said some things to him, he’s doing everything he can, not to let it out. He’s clinching his butt cheeks as hard as he can like ‘oh I don’t want to say a cuss word, I don’t want to seem like a mean guy.’ Just let it out."
Cruz promises he never says anything he doesn’t believe to be true and that’s what eats at Dillashaw more than anything. Whether Cruz is addressing the stylistic matchup that he sees giving him the edge in their fight or talking about the many ways Dillashaw has fouled up his relationship with his former team, it only hurts because it’s true.
"It only pisses off TJ because it’s true. The truth only hurts when you believe it about yourself," Cruz said. "When I say things to TJ and he gets mad and wants to punch me in my face five weeks early, it’s because I’m saying things that he believes himself. If he didn’t believe them, he wouldn’t get so mad. He can say whatever he wants to me, I don’t care. He’s still a meathead.
It only pisses off TJ because it’s true. The truth only hurts when you believe it about yourself.
— Dominick Cruz
"I think it’s hard to deal with the fact that you’ve got to back up the words that you say."
Cruz says that Dillashaw finally pulled the rip cord when they recorded an episode of "UFC Insider" with Jon Anik recently, where they sat across from each other and traded barbs while breaking down their fight that airs on FS1 this Sunday night.
Cruz couldn’t help but laugh that Dillashaw finally dropped his nice guy persona and showed his teeth a little bit while they were exchanging words.
"Today he let it out on ‘UFC Insider’. He started cursing me out, he said ‘I’m going to kill you, I can’t stand you, you’re talking a bunch of nonsense’ and I’m laughing at him like just let it out because that’s what I’m doing. I have nothing to fear," Cruz said. "I’ve gotten everything taken from me. You’re going to judge me no matter what I say, you’re going to whether I say nothing but respectful things and you’re going to judge me whether I just let it all out and say something mean that will hurt TJ’s poor little feelings.
"The truth is he just doesn’t want to let it out, he doesn’t want to be himself and that’s not my problem."
Cruz admits he did take umbrage with some of things Dillashaw said in the lead up to their fight regarding his former coaches and training partners at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento. Dillashaw left the team just recently to begin training full time alongside his head coach Duane “Bang” Ludwig as well as the fighters at Team Elevation in Denver.
During the media tour, Cruz said he poked and prodded at Dillashaw when discussing his win over Team Alpha Male founder Urijah Faber and that only spurred the champion to then declare that he used to beat up his friend in training all the time before he finally left the team.
"He said that he’s been beating up (Urijah) Faber for four years. He said that, I didn’t say that. I just kind of alluded to it because I said I kind of beat up your coach. He’s like ‘I’ve been beating him up for four years, he’s not my coach’. He said that, not me. I would never say that about my teammates. I want to build my teammates up to be better," Cruz said.
"He says it’s about confidence but why are you bashing the guys who helped get you to where you’re at? Why are you saying you’ve been beating them up all for years. He’s blaming the media saying it’s being built into something it’s not. No, you left the camp because you think you’re better than all those guys and you did what you had to do for yourself. Ok, I get that. But you don’t have to go around telling everybody you beat up Faber for four years, who helped bring you up in the sport, who taught you what it was to be a champion, who gave you a mentality and got you tons of followers on Instagram because he was hyping you up. To me that’s a little lack of loyalty. Regardless of whether I like Faber or not or think he’s a turd bucket, doesn’t matter, it’s a lack of loyalty that he shows and that’s true."
Ultimately, Cruz never backs down from anything he says in interviews because he believes his words are true. Is Cruz ever wrong breaking down a fight or giving a pick? Of course.
But Cruz says he’s always speaking the truth and that’s what trips up Dillashaw from saying what’s really on his mind because he knows deep down the bantamweight champion has doubts. Whether it’s doubts about his training or doubts about his performance, Cruz sees the cracks starting to splinter in Dillashaw’s mind and he can’t wait to expose them as giant gaping holes when they finally meet in the Octagon this weekend.
"I believe I am (still the real champion). That’s why I’m here. I’m not going to go in there and fight this guy and not believe that I’m the best in the world," Cruz said. "I believe that I am the best in the world because of the way that I prepare. I train so hard. What breeds confidence is preparation and I’ve been in camp a long time."