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Dominick Cruz: TJ Dillashaw became UFC champion by copying my style

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz is talking a lot of smack heading into his UFC Fight Night 81 title fight, which takes place on FOX Sports 1 from inside TD Garden in Boston, Mass., on Jan. 17, 2016.

Especially for a guy who's competed just once since 2011.

But as we saw in the Takeya Mizugaki fight, layoffs don't appear to have much effect on "The Dominator," who was stripped of his bantamweight belt after multiple injuries. In his absence, the title was captured by Renan Barao, who promptly coughed it up to Dillashaw.

Cruz talks to 98.5 The Sports Hub (via MMA Fighting) with "The Viper" by his side:

"All my fights were for titles. Top five guys. He's fought one guy in the top five. How hard is it to finish guys in the top five compared to the top 15? He's gotten finishes against guys in the top 15. That's nothing. He was emulating me for all his teammates. Then decided, 'Wow, I'm beating up all my teammates here at Team Male with Dominick's style, so maybe I should use this to go win a title while he's hurt.'"

I guess leaving Team Alpha Male did little to quell their mutual disdain.

"I used to think Dominick Cruz was really good," Dillashaw replied. "Now I know what I'm doing and I know the holes in his game. He used to be good."

We'll find out for sure in less than two months.

To see who else is competing at the upcoming UFC Fight Night 81 mixed martial arts (MMA) event in "Beantown," check out the latest and greatest "Dillashaw vs. Cruz" fight card and line up here.

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