Following his second impressive victory against Renan Barao at UFC on FOX 16 (see it again here) to retain his Bantamweight belt, it's safe to say T.J. Dillashaw finally has the Brazilian bomber in his rear-view mirror.
Now, "Viper" can look ahead to new challenges. And they don't get much bigger than a potential championship showdown against former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 135-pound kingpin, Dominick Cruz.
Speaking during the post-fight press conference (video replay here), Dillashaw said that while there are other big name fights on the horizon, the one he wants as soon as possible is a showdown against "Dominator" because a victory over him will make him the biggest name in the division.
"I mean, it's so hard for me to think about anyone else. I've been thinking about Renan Barao for over a year and a half, you know? But we've got guys like Dominick Cruz and Raphael Assuncao. Which, they're both great fighters but they're hurt now. Whenever they come back, I don't know what the plan is, but I'd like to see either one of those guys. I don't know. I'm not sure."
Still, Dillashaw doesn't hide the fact that fighting and defeating Cruz is what will ultimately make him the biggest name in the weight class.
"That's the biggest fight. That's what's going to make my name the biggest at this weight class, fighting Cruz as soon as he's able to come back. He's a very elusive, high-paced fighter. I just don't think he has the power behind his punches. I don't think he has that devastating threat that he can impose on someone you know. I see myself definitely winning that fight."
Can you say battle of foot movement?
Cruz made a successful return to the Octagon after a two year-hiatus because of various injuries in Sept. 2014 by downright blitzing through Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 178 (see the full fight here). The following month, Cruz suffered another injury that sent him to the sidelines once again.
Thankfully, his rehabilitation has been on point and the former 135-pound champ says he could return to action later this year or early 2016.