‘The Dominator’ joined Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, and of course the hot topic of fellow champion Conor McGregor arose during the conversation.
What makes Cruz’s take on the McGregor situation interesting (besides Cruz’s usually fascinating thoughts) is that part of the Irishman’s challenge is reflected in a possible avenue of Cruz’s own career.
A larger man in Nate Diaz presents problems to the extent that ‘The Notorious’ needs to carefully consider his approach to a potential rematch. McGregor admitted as much in his post-‘retirement’ statement last week.
“I am facing a taller, longer and heavier man. I need to prepare correctly this time.”
Flyweight (125lbs.) king Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson faces a similar dilemma. His demolition of Olympic gold medallist Henry Cejudo at UFC 197 represents a clean-out of the division.
A possible fight on the horizon is a super-fight rematch with 135lb. champion Cruz at bantamweight – a fight Johnson lost handily in October 2011. Helwani also floated the idea of Cruz moving up to Conor’s division of 145lbs – the challenges of which Cruz laid out for all three men.
“He’s the best flyweight ever, but when he’s come up to 135, he lost to me and Brad Pickett. He’s had to deal with size disadvantages, and equal technique”, Cruz said on Johnson.
“I get where Conor’s at. When you lose a fight, it puts you back to the drawing board, you know you have to change something. He realises that he’s human now. Nate did not back down. Until him we didn’t see anybody stand up to Conor.”
“It’s not just about technique anymore, you gotta deal with three other things – size, length and reach. When you’re at this level, [that change] changes the fight so much, you have to respect the body mechanics. They change the fight’s dynamics completely, no matter how good you are.”
Of course, an extraordinary back-and-forth struggle between McGregor and the UFC means that a rematch with Diaz, originally scheduled for UFC 200 in July, will now most likely not go ahead.
It’s here that Cruz is unable to relate to the Dubliner, in particular the success that his to-date media duties have brought him.
“Conor is a failure of his own success”, Cruz stated.
“He’s so good at this media that they are going to ask him to do a tonne.”
“But I’ll be honest, if the UFC said, ‘Hey Dominick, we’re going to pay you 100 times what you’re getting paid now and you are going to make McGregor money’, I’ll go live with Ariel Helwani for my entire camp, eat everything you eat, do every radio interview you do, go out there and be ready to fight.
So it’s kind of a mixed thing, he’s getting paid a lot of money to do this stuff, a lot of money, and people want to see it, he’s in high demand. So because he’s at high demand that makes him a failure of his own success, if you get what I’m saying.”
The full interview (from 22:08) via MMAFighting can be seen here.