The UFC’s bantamweight picture is pretty fascinating these days, as thanks to the return of Dominick Cruz, not only is one of the planet’s best 135érs back in action, his rivalry with Team Alpha Male is back in full swing.
Cruz will look to reclaim the bantamweight title tonight at UFC Fight Night 81, when he takes on TJ Dillashaw. Now sure, the champ is no longer part of TAM, but he was for a long time, and as you know, Cruz has always loved taking shots at the Sacramento team. This is due to his longstanding rivalry with the team’s leader, Urijah Faber, who Cruz has fought twice before (and gone 1-1).
So, since Dillashaw and Faber have been feuding in the media, it’s not surprising that Cruz has been asked for his take on the situation. During a recent media call to promote UFC FN 81, here is some of what Cruz had to say about Dillashaw’s highly publicized split from TAM (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“Those guys all have a weird dynamic,” Cruz said. “You never know which side they’re playing, because they’re always trying to make money and build some fights up for the future. So, they could be best friends behind the scenes and just pretending to beef right now or they could be really beefing. Faber is the kind of guy, he wants you to do good, but he never wants you to do better than him. Right now, T.J. is doing a little bit better than him. I’m sure there’s a real jealousy in Faber’s eyes right now and that’s why all this stuff is going on the way it is.”
Naturally Faber won’t care for these comments, but this is par for the course when you’re talking about his relationship with the former champ. If you recall, the UFC had plans for Faber and Cruz to fight for a third time, but due to the latter’s knee issues, the promotion moved ahead with an interim title. Renan Barao outscored Faber to take the belt back in 2012.
Now it remains to be seen who emerged with the bantamweight title, and how that affects the UFC’s plans. Could Cruz-Faber III happen later this year? Or will it be Dillashaw – Faber?