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13th Jul 2016

UFC champion is willing to step in and fight Conor McGregor or Jose Aldo after UFC 202

Things just got more interesting at featherweight

Darragh Murphy

TJ who?

Dominick Cruz sounds like he has absolutely no interest in offering TJ Dillashaw a rematch as he’s identified some more appealing fights for himself at 145 lbs.

The reigning UFC bantamweight champion reclaimed the title he never lost when he dethroned Dillashaw in January and, in spite of the rivalry between the pair, Cruz isn’t enthusiastic about giving him a rematch so soon after their initial meeting.

UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw v Cruz

Dillashaw all but confirmed his status as number one contender by defeating Raphael Assuncao at UFC 200 but Cruz is more interested in exciting super-fights than returning to another opponent that he’s already beaten.

“I don’t care about that motherfucker at all,” Cruz said of Dillashaw during ESPN’s Five Rounds podcast. “I beat that dude three years off the couch. He got me at 75 percent. So, the fact he thinks he beat me is nonsense.

“I don’t need to prove anything to that guy. I don’t really care about him. There are so many other fights that are extremely important.”

‘What fights?’ you might ask! Well, ‘The Dominator’ wants to get involved in the title picture at featherweight now that he’s successfully defended his 135 lbs title by beating Urijah Faber in the rubber match of that feud.

It’s expected that reigning featherweight champion Conor McGregor will return to the weight class he calls home after his welterweight rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 202 in order to defend his title against Jose Aldo, his long-time rival who secured the interim championship with a victory over Frankie Edgar on Saturday night.

UFC 200: Tate v Nunes

But if either McGregor or Aldo gets injured in the meantime, Cruz insists he wants to step in.

“Who knows? (McGregor) could get hurt in this fight against Diaz,” Cruz said. “They’d need someone to fight for the interim title. I’m willing to fight for the interim (featherweight) title and bring two belts together. Why not? I would do that in a heartbeat. That’s a much more fun, much bigger fight than anything near TJ Dillashaw. Nobody cares about that guy.

UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor

“Or maybe Aldo gets hurt and I’ll fight Conor. Let’s go, you know what I mean? I can move up to 145 lbs and be very competitive. I’m extremely hard to hit, I’m quick and I’ve fought at 45 before. I’m down for it because bringing two belts together to consolidate into one, not only has it not been done, it’s tough. It’s a challenge. It’s a fun, interesting match up. That’s what people want to see right now.”

He’s not wrong there!