Dominick Cruz may not be the best bantamweight in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) anymore, but he’s still more than capable of decisioning solid up-and-comers like Casey Kenney. At UFC 259 he did just that, using his trademark unorthodox movement to fluster Kenney and pepper him with never-ending strikes.
Following the win, did Cruz call for a tougher fight against someone at the top of the division? Someone who could jump him back into title contention? Nope. Instead, “The Dominator” decided to call out Monster Energy exec Hans Molenkamp for a charity fight. At first it sounded like a fun little something between Cruz and one of his sponsors, but the more Cruz talked the more you realized he had real beef with Molenkamp for making him dance on social media for his sponsor money.
“When you try to force me, and you text me if I don’t comment on your page, if I don’t give you an interview, that you’re going to take what pays my bills ... what are we doing?” Cruz said at the post-fight press conference. “Monster sponsors me, not you. So, this was a callout because he calls himself a pro fighter. He’s got 100 pounds weight on me, and I’m like, we can make this a win-win situation. Let’s do a charity event. Monster picks the charity, and we scrap it out.
“He says he’s got three pro fights ... let’s prove it,” he continued. “Put your money where your mouth is. You’ve got a little tiny guy calling you out for charity. Not for anything else. Why not?”
Following UFC 259, a few older fighters seemed to agree with Cruz that Molenkamp’s social media demands were a bit much.
I think it’s totally safe to assume— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) March 7, 2021
While a lot of younger fighters threw their support behind the Monster Energy executive:
There’s clearly some bad vibes brewing with bigger names. Israel Adesanya makes a point of removing Monster Energy bottles from the podium during every post-fight press conference:
Izzy backs Cruz and once again refuses to do the Post fight presser with Monster cans on the table pic.twitter.com/IcUrccumKl— Λ OfWar (@ImAntoMMA) March 7, 2021
Even Dana White has roasted the s—t out of Molenkamp on Instagram in the past:
After UFC 259, White took a more “political” stance on the subject. Well, about as political as he’s going to get.
“Is Hans a goofy dude? Yeah, he’s a very goofy dude,” White said. “But they’re a sponsor. These guys are a sponsor, they’re great sponsors, they pay these guys a lot of money. Monster is one of these companies that really, really takes care of people and it’s their company. They can sponsor whoever they want, they can run their business however they want.
“This isn’t like a work situation where you’re working for somebody and you’re not happy about the way you’re being treated,” he continued. “This is a sponsorship deal. These guys can spend their money and run their company however they want to and nobody’s guaranteed money from a sponsor. It’s a privilege to get money from a sponsor.
“So if you don’t like the way they do business, don’t do business with them,” he concluded.
Who knows what’s what here, but it sure is a trip flipping through Molenkamp’s Instagram with Cruz’s accusations in mind.
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