With a gritty win over Cory Sandhagen after a two-year layoff, T.J. Dillashaw became a frontrunner for the next title shot against current UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling. While nothing has been finalized, that potential pairing rubbed fellow ex-champion Dominick Cruz the wrong way.
“He was suspended for cheating, so to get a shot after one win, OK, cool. Sounds like a hook-up to me,” Cruz said last week on The MMA Hour.
Recently, Dillashaw had the platform to respond through Submission Radio, and he, too, didn’t hold back.
“He sounds like a salty c-nt, to be honest,” Dillashaw said of his former rival. “I just think he’s obviously jealous of me being able to stay in the top, you know, my layoff and how long I’ve been in the sport and me still be able to come back and prove that I’m still the best. And I did lose money, right?”
For Dillashaw, losing those two years of his fighting career was still a big deal, despite his lucrative endeavors outside of the cage.
“Me not fighting for two years while being a champion is a lot of money out of my pocket. [If I had] kept racking in the wins, getting title defenses, I mean, we’re talking about millions and millions of dollars that I let slip through my fingers because I made a f–ng stupid mistake.
“So yeah, I paid my time, I came back and f–ken grinded to get that win on f–ng one leg and one eye, and there’s nothing you can do to deny me that it’s my shot.”
As for Cruz, Dillashaw says it’s all par for the course in terms of “The Dominator’s” personality.
“So, like I said, he’s just being salty, and that’s kind of his personality anyways,” he said. “He’s kind of an unlikable dude. I mean, I’ve always respected him and I think he’s got a good eye for stuff, but he’s got like this chip on his shoulder where he feels like everything’s owed to him, and he’s just like always complaining about shit.”
“It’s just his personality, and of course, he’s gonna say that. But it’s because he’ll never get there again. I don’t think he’ll ever have a shot to get the belt back. And that probably bothers him, because at one time he was the best.”
In the same interview, the 36-year-old Dillashaw said he has “bigger fish to fry,” naming Henry Cejudo and José Aldo as his next possible opponents.