Since T.J. Dillashaw's rise to prominence, his new style and breed of movement has been compared to the one from Dominick Cruz. The former UFC bantamweight kingpin has been on the sidelines nursing multiple knee surgeries, but he doesn't seem all too impressed with the current title holder and the comparisons being made between them.
"When I was doing things, it was ‘awkward, herky jerky, never seen before.' I got this ‘weird style that doesn't make sense," Cruz said at the MMA Hour. "Now, my style is being appreciated. When I go out there, people will see T.J. Dillashaw is nothing but a wannabe, and I look forward to going out there and proving that I'm the best in the world."
"When people make a comparison, they don't know what they're comparing. Four years ago when I used this style, nobody knew what it was. I had coaches, Joe Rogan, all these people saying that I was just 'awkward' and 'weird'. Now it's a style, because T.J. Dillashaw took feints, footwork, and switching stance from the style that I created -- those are the only three things that he took from it -- now it's become something that's respectable."
"So I gotta say, it's a good thing T.J. went out there and kept fighting and kept getting famous and kept winning, because now, when I come back, I have a match. I cleaned out the division four years ago. Cleaned it out. And it hasn't changed."
"Urijah Faber could have the title right now but he's scared to fight T.J. and get beat by him, so he's just going to stay in the miscellaneous floating area. Then you have (Raphael) Assuncao, who's hurt. So really it's just been Barao and T.J. who are there to fight. I haven't fought those two, but other than that, I've beaten almost everybody else in the division or they've dropped to 125 pounds."
"When I come back, the only thing T.J. is looking for is my fame, to bite off of it because nobody believes he's champion right now."
The former champ, who never lost his title inside the Octagon, claims to have been 'sitting on his words', trying not to talk as much since he's been on the sidelines nursing injuries. He has been surprisingly more vocal about Dillashaw as of late though, even saying that apart from the Barao win, he hasn't really beaten anybody. He says he isn't really all that impressed with Renan to begin with either.
"The sport is evolving and the guys who aren't choosing to evolve with the sport are getting beaten. I never thought Barao was as good as everybody said he was," he said. "But I couldn't say that because I've been on the sidelines and Dana White was preaching about him like he was the next Jesus."
"What is T.J. Dillashaw saying? ‘I hit harder. I'm going to knock him out. He thinks he's champion, he's not.' This guy doesn't even know what he's talking about. He learned the style that he won a championship with by watching me fight. He learned from me."
"Just like we see kids dunking the basketball with their tongue out, trying to be Michael Jordan, you see T.J. Dillashaw trying to switch stances, trying to look like Dominick Cruz. That's all there is to it. He needs me, to be who he is."
"The bottom line is, I make his career worth anything. I'm the only fight he needs to be worth anything. So he should be thanking me for being out as long as I have, because it's given him the chance to have a spotlight. Otherwise he'd just still be the least of alphas at Team Alpha Fail."