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UFC 269: Dominick Cruz not here to ‘play around’, wants title shot with win over Pedro Munhoz

“I think that any time I’m competing, you should be talking about me as a title contender.”

Dominick Cruz isn’t here to take part, he’s here to take over.

The former WEC and UFC bantamweight champion believes he should be in the title mix with a win over Pedro Munhoz at UFC 269 based on his previous accomplishments in the division and the fact that he is considered one of, if not the greatest, bantamweight fighters of all time.

“I think that any time I’m competing, you should be talking about me as a title contender. I’m here to compete to be the best,” Cruz said at UFC 269 media day (h/t BJPenn.com). “I’m not here to just play around. I’m here to keep going up.”

Cruz isn’t putting the cart before the horse, however, as he knows No. 8-ranked Munhoz is one of his toughest opponents to date.

“Pedro’s obviously one of the best in the world to me,” Cruz, who is coming into the Munhoz fight on the back of a split decision win over Casey Kenney, said. “Nothing but respect. I mean, the guy carries himself like a professional, and he’s just, I mean, I’ve seen him knock people out. He’s a knockout artist is how I view him, and he’s a grappling finisher. So to me, he’s a finisher. He’s always going for the finish one way or another.”

UFC 269: Oliveira vs. Poirier will feature Munhoz vs. Cruz on the prelims. The highly anticipated pay-per-view takes place tonight, Dec. 11, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.