Sunday, January 17, 2016

UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz preview

Dominick Cruz came onto the UFC scene a few years ago when the company absorbed the WEC bantamweight division. He lost the title, not because he was bested by an opponent, but because he suffered an unfortunate injury. And then another. And then another.

Cruz has been a tad injury-prone since it was announced that he was a coach on The Ultimate Fighter. To date, fans everywhere still must wonder how the fight would have gone between Urijah Faber and him.

Nonetheless, the man who has fought one time in five years is finally getting a shot at regaining his title when he faces TJ Dillashaw for the UFC World Men's Bantamweight Championship.

Cruz's most recent fight was two years ago and it barely lasted a minute. He's going to be dealing with ring rust. The question will be whether Cruz's incredible ability to frustrate and out-strike his opponents has carried over after all these years.

In many ways, Dillashaw is the replacement for Cruz in terms of style. The two each have an unorthodox style and can frustrate their opponents. Cruz certainly has done it longer, but Dillashaw has earned his stripes since dominating Renan Barao twice in his last three fights.

Most of the time, my pick would be Cruz, but the gap in time is so great that I can't say he's the same fighter I remember. I'll take Dillashaw by decision, but take it with a grain of salt.

Also on the card is a clash between Anthony Pettis and Eddie Alvarez. The winner will most likely be in position for a title shot once fight is over between Rafael dos Anjos and...

Oh hi, Conor.

This should be a clash of strikers for certain, but Pettis is far from a slouch on the ground, so be ready for that. My pick is Pettis by KO 2 to earn his return match for the lightweight crown.

Rest of the Main Card

Heavyweight Bout: Travis Browne vs. Matt Mitrione - Taking Browne on this one by KO 1.

Lightweight Bout: Ross Pearson vs. Francisco Trinaldo - Pearson wins in a secure decision.

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