Dominick Cruz picked up his second straight win this past weekend (Sat., Dec. 11, 2021) after edging out Pedro Munhoz in a wildly-entertaining Bantamweight bout on the undercard of UFC 269, which went down inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Now that the former 135-pound champion is picking up some momentum, he isn’t about to slow down. Speaking to the media post-fight, “The Dominator” pondered his future and discussed two possible opponents for his next fight inside the Octagon. Among them is none other than former Featherweight champion, Jose Aldo, who is now on a three-fight streak at 135 pounds.
“I’m not going to say no to an Aldo fight just because that moves me closer to the title,” Cruz said (via MMA Junkie). “Aldo’s a legend in the sport. I have nothing but respect for all these guys. So I’m trying to go … I’m going up towards the title and the champs.
“Saying that to, and I’m not going to say no to anything, what I’m going to do is be present instead of in the future where there’s absolutely no peace, and I would encourage everybody here to do the same,” he continued. “You have no control over the future. You have no control over the past. So I’m just going to stay right here on my win.”
Aldo is coming off a huge win over Rob Font at UFC Vegas 44 a little more than one week ago, giving him his longest win streak in eight years (highlights). A fight between the two former UFC and WEC champions would be welcomed by all hardcore fans who have been following the careers of the two legends from the jump.
Should that fight not come to fruition, Cruz says he also wouldn’t mind getting a rematch against Henry Cejudo, whom he lost to via technical knockout at UFC 249 earlier this year.
“I’d definitely prefer to fight Cejudo again. That didn’t do well with me with the way that — like I said, one second (left) on the clock. I needed more time to get going. I don’t want to make excuses, it was in the pandemic, you had no training partners, I took that on short notice.
“He had a full camp for Aldo — I vied for that,” Cruz continued. “I pushed for that fight. Aldo got shut out of the country because of the pandemic. He was supposed to have that fight, so they were training for 12 weeks, 10 weeks before that fight. I got like five weeks. I sparred, I think, 10 times before that fight after shoulder reconstructive surgery. Not an excuse, but I know I can show up better. How I showed up tonight, this version of me is with all the sparring rounds that I need me training the way I know I can and the way I know I need to, and that’s a different fight with him. Don’t get me wrong, the guy’s an Olympian. He knows how to fight. Still a little dork, though.”
Cejudo has hinted at a comeback after retiring following his win over Cruz, but he has his eyes on an immediate title fight against current 145-pound champion, Alexander Volkanovski. UFC officials, though, haven't been too warm on that idea.
For now, Cruz will enjoy his win over Munhoz and wait to see just what UFC matchmakers have in store for him in 2022. Perhaps this showdown is a good alternative if the first two options are unavailable.
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