UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz is tired of hearing about what a superior coach rival Urijah Faber will be on the Ultimate Fighter 15. While Faber’s work with Team Alpha Male is well-documented, Cruz is no stranger to serving as both a mentor and trainer to up-and-coming Mixed Martial Artists. He just hasn’t publicized it to the extent Faber has.
“I think, honestly, people are sleeping on me in the coaching aspect, no doubt,” said the 19-1 Cruz while serving as a guest this week on Sherdog Radio. “To begin, I got into fighting by coaching. I didn’t even start fighting until one of the students that I was coaching told me to come to the gym and try it out. Then when I got in there, the only way that I could pay my dues every month was to teach, clean the toilet, clean the bags and mop the floors. I didn’t pay dues because I didn’t have the money. I taught and I cleaned.”
This time around Cruz will be looking to clean up again albeit in terms of taking out Faber’s team as well as “The California Kid” himself when the two meet in the Octagon later this year.
“I’m definitely in this to win it. I’m not in it to go in there and just worry about myself. I’m going on this show to win in the coaching aspect. After I smoke him in the coaching aspect, I’m going to beat him down in the fight come July,” Cruz explained, eager to put Faber in his place.
To assist him he’ll need a solid group of fighters to work with, many of whom he’ll hope to see reflecting his own humility while also exhibiting his mental approach to competition.
“For me personally, what’s going to sway me towards picking guys over others is certain guys have a type of arrogance about them. You can feel that right off the bat. The more arrogant they are, the harder it’s going to be to get them to be open-minded and hear the things that I have to teach, the things that my coaches have to teach,” began Cruz on the topic before adding, “At the same time, I want the most mentally tough guys I can find. Because really, when it all comes down to it, that’s what it’s going to be about on this show. It’s thirteen weeks trapped in a house with nothing but guys, away from your family, away from your friends, no radio, no books, no television and a liquor cabinet that’s just filled. … I think that the main aspect of this is just going to be keeping their minds right.”
TUF 15 starts tomorrow night on FX at 9:00 PM EST with sixteen qualifying fights set for a two-plus hour broadcast.