Dominick Cruz says Conor McGregor needs to man up and accept his stoppage loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264.
The Irishman has refused to accept defeat, calling it an ‘illegitimate win’ for Poirier, after breaking his leg in a gruesome injury at the end of the first round.
Cruz, a former WEC and UFC bantamweight champion, has implored McGregor to go back to the drawing board and assess where things went wrong instead of unleashing tirade after tirade at Poirier and his family.
“After multiple losses like that, you tend to sit on your hands and shut up,” Cruz said on the UFC 264 post-fight show (h/t MMA Junkie). “We’re not seeing that. We’re not seeing the silence. We’re not seeing the humility. We’re not seeing the vulnerability that he put on place to put himself in a position where you may or may not win. You’re not exercising the vulnerability that, yeah, you just showed that you lost. This is the game. There’s a position where you get smashed sometimes, and you have to accept that as a fighter. That is part of why we do martial arts, is to accept the losses and the wins and grow from them. When you don’t accept these losses, how do you grow? How do you fill the gap?”
Cruz was criticized for the way he handled his own TKO defeat to Henry Cejudo at UFC 249, accusing referee Keith Peterson of smelling of ‘booze and cigarattes’, but ‘The Dominator’ takes full accountability for the result and successfully rebounded with a split decision win over Casey Kenney at UFC 259.
“There’s been times where I’ve felt not right with my stoppages, but I still take responsibility for the loss itself,” Cruz added. “I still put myself in that position to lose and when you take responsibility, you can start shifting from the loss. We’re not seeing that, and that’s what I think is gonna stop him the most from succeeding moving forward.”
McGregor underwent successful surgery on Sunday and will spend a minimum of six weeks in recovery. He will likely return to the UFC in early 2022.