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Dominick Cruz: ‘Soft’ Henry Cejudo has been coddled his whole life, is still very green in MMA

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Henry Cejudo and Dominick Cruz’s back-and-forth is starting to pick up after “The Messenger” called out “The Dominator” in what the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) dual-division champion dubbed a “tune up fight.”

Not one to sit idle, Cruz fired back by stating the despite his accolades, Henry simply isn’t in his class. Dominick -- the former longtime Bantamweight champion -- appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show recently to further discuss his growing beef with “Triple C,” and their past history.

“He’s acting like he’s beat a bunch of people that haven’t been beat before. So that’s what I didn’t really understand. However, the shirt he’s wearing in the video has my name on it, so that’s cool. A tune up fight? Yeah, I am going to tune him up, so he got that right. He knows I’m going to tune him up, it’s that simple,” said Cruz, before revealing that the chances of UFC actually booking that title fight are very good.

“I think UFC is pretty interested in booking us. You have to look at what’s been done. I set the most records in this division, first-ever to hold the title here. I had it for the longest time of anybody in the division and the people that I beat to get to the title, I didn’t have an easy road,” he added. “And not to mention my own setbacks that I’ve had on top of that.”

Indeed, Dominick has been riddled with injuries throughout his career, forcing him to sit on the sidelines longer than he would have liked. But as he recovers from his most-recent shoulder injury, he feels the timeline sets up for both he and Cejudo to return at the same time, seeing as how Henry recently underwent shoulder surgery.

What some people may not know is that Henry and Cruz wrestled for the Arizona national wrestling team together. Admitting Cejudo was always the man to beat, not competing against him is one of Dominick’s greatest regrets. And while Cruz does give Henry his props for everything he’s accomplished in wrestling, in the fight game, however, “The Dominator” feels he is still very green.

“The things that he has done in the sport, you have to tip your cap to him in the sport of wrestling. But in the sport of fighting, he is still very green, very new and extremely soft. This man has been catered to his entire life because coaches his whole life have seen him as a super athlete. So they always pull him out of the masses and take care of him, coddle him, baby him. He came straight out of high school to the Olympic training center to compete in wrestling,” he said.

It’s that isolation and special treatment that Cruz says has led to Henry’s new “king of cringe” persona, since he doesn’t know anything other than competing, which leads him to forget who he really is as a person.

“I believe that the reason people why people can’t understand Henry is because Henry Cejudo doesn’t know who he is. Straight out of high school they locked him in a room, threw him into wrestling matches so he could win a gold medal,” said Dominick.

“Henry Cejudo is the gold medal. That’s all he knows. So that’s all you ever hear from him is what he’s earned. If you take away the gold medal, the UFC belt, what would you hear Henry Cejudo say that he is? Who does he make a difference for? What’s his purpose here? I think that is what makes him such a confusing entity to the world,” he said.

“He doesn’t know who the heck he is without winning in competition. So to be able to beat that man, and explain to the world just how confused he is; this man thinks the whole world evolves after winning medals and belts. Well, when that is all said and done, what are you going to be? So after I beat him down he is going to be in that question for a period of time,” said Cruz. “The cringe is to hide what he doesn’t know to be, which is himself.”

Deep stuff.

Of course, Dana White has already stated that Cejudo must first defend his Flyweight title upon his return or be stripped of it, which means a Cruz fight is still a ways off.