Maybe I’m wrong, but as far as it goes, Dominick Cruz is still the best bantamweight of all-time.
TJ Dillashaw will defend his title this Saturday night at UFC 227 vs. Cody Garbrandt in a rematch of their November bout that ended with Dillashaw knocking Garbrandt out inside Madison Square Garden.
A two-time champion, Dillashaw believes the spot atop the Mount Rushmore of his division belongs to him with a second consecutive win over Garbrandt and the 16th of his career in 19 fights.
But is Dillashaw forgetting about that 2016 date with Cruz that resulted in “The Dominator” reclaiming the belt via split decision? How can you call yourself “the best” without having bested someone that many believe is just that?
Cruz has suffered an incredibly bad run of injuries that have limited him to just four fights since a 2011 win over Demetrious Johnson. That, in fact, was the last time the current UFC flyweight champion lost.
He finally returned in 2014 and knocked out Takeya Mizugaki, earning a shot at Dillashaw for the belt that he never lost. Officials had to move on and stripped Cruz of the belt that he had held dating back to winning it in the WEC in 2010.
Late in 2016, Cruz suffered a loss to Garbrandt via decision, just the second of his career. The other being a defeat he avenged vs. Urijah Faber, remains one I am sure Cruz would love to have a crack at.
But back to Dillashaw and his claim to being the G.O.A.T. in the bantamweight ranks.
You can definitely feel free to place him on the mountains with a second win over Garbrandt, as his victories vs. Renan Barao John Lineker, Raphael Assuncao and others give him a strong case.
Just don’t call him the greatest yet when Dominick Cruz is still lurking in the shadows.
Below is the current fight card:
MAIN CARD (PPV/10 p.m. ET)
UFC Bantamweight Championship
TJ Dillashaw (c) vs. Cody Garbrandt
UFC Flyweight Championship
Demetrious Johnson (c) vs. Henry Cejudo
Middleweight: Thiago Santos vs. Kevin Holland
Strawweight: Polyana Viana vs. JJ Aldrich
Featherweight: Cub Swanson vs. Renato Moicano
PRELIMINARY CARD (FX/8 p.m. ET)
Bantamweight: Pedro Munhoz vs. Brett Johns
Bantamweight: Ricky Simon vs. Montel Jackson
Female Bantamweight: Bethe Correia vs. Irene Aldana
Featherweight: Matt Sayles vs. Sheymon Moraes
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass/6 p.m. ET)
Flyweight: Jose Torres vs. Alex Perez
Bantamweight: Ricardo Ramos vs. Kyung Ho Kang
Strawweight: Danielle Taylor vs. Zhang Welli
Bantamweight: Marlon Vera vs. Wuliji Buren
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