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Dominick Cruz prepared to step in at UFC 217, prefers Cody Garbrandt rematch over TJ Dillashaw do-over

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MMA: UFC 207-Weigh In Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dominick Cruz suffered his first loss in over eight years at UFC 207, losing his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight title in December to Cody Garbrandt in a highly-entertaining affair.

Now, “No Love” is set to make his first-ever title defense against T.J. Dillashaw at the upcoming UFC 217 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Nov. 4, 2017 in New York City. And “The Dominator,” for one,” will be cheering on his old foe, as he’d love nothing more than to get a do-over against Garbrandt.

Mores-so than running it back against Dillashaw.

“I would prefer Cody to win, just because I’d like to fight him in a rematch for the belt. I think it would be a really sick fight and it would be good for me,” said Dominick on a recent interview with UFC Unfiltered.

Garbrandt was originally set to defend his title against T.J. at UFC 213 but back issues forced the 135-pound king out of the fight. With Cody’s injury in the rear-view mirror, Dominick — who’s had his fair share of injuries -- says it’s time for Cody to “pay the piper” and defend his strap.

If not, then he would gladly step in and take either man’s spot if they don’t show up in “The Big Apple.”

“I’m always training, I’ve been training this whole time. For me the title shot is important. I’ve earned that shot, I held the belt longer than anyone in this division and I help build the division,” proclaimed Dominick

“I gave Cody that shot when I could’ve fought T.J. again. I have been doing this to build the division. I brought another guy up and fought him for the title because I wanted another guy in the mix. We needed that for the division. If any one of these guys gets hurt I would like to slide in and challenge for the title, 100-percent,” confirmed Cruz.

Still, Dominick says it it will be dire circumstances that force either man out of the co-main event title fight, as UFC 217 features a Middleweight fight between Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre, which means the pay for everyone involved will increase.

“I don’t think either one of these two guys are going to pull out of that card, because of what I said about the pay-per-views and all that stuff. I think they will be there. And I hope they are so they can go out and get that fight done, I think it will be a fun fight regardless,” he concluded.

Still, it’s good to know UFC has a potential backup plan in “The Dominator.” Which these days is not a bad thing to have.