Dominick Cruz explains the detrimental impact on the 135 division had Henry Cejudo won at UFC 288

Dominick Cruz expressed his surprise that one judge gave Aljamain Sterling the fifth round of his recent UFC 288 title defense against Henry Cejudo. To Cruz, that round was the easiest to award to Cejudo. However, he is pleased that Cejudo’s late surge did not win him the fight, as he believes the bantamweight division would have suffered a significant blow.

Cruz noted that Sterling is a better champion for the division because of his activity, fighting style, respect, and general comportment. Cruz’s remarks about Cejudo’s retirement may indicate his dislike for the former champion, given that they exchanged a lot of trash talk leading up to their UFC 249 bout. After defeating Cruz, Cejudo retired and relinquished the title, making a rematch impossible.

Cruz viewed this as his rival taking the easy way out. Cruz reflected on the pressure he felt to compete despite his physical difficulties and the fact that he was in the USADA testing pool, where other fighters were calling him out every week, pointing out that some fighters retire to avoid such pressure.

Despite returning to the octagon after losing to Cejudo, Cruz has failed to regain the bantamweight championship. While a head-kick knockout to Marlon Vera appeared to be the end of his title campaign, Cruz still believes he has a shot at the title and could face Sterling in the future.

Cruz believes that fighters retire to evade the pressure of competition, USADA testing pool, and subsequent calling-out by their peers. He respects fighters who stay in the heat and face the pressure, noting that Aldo is one such fighter who has stayed in the game despite numerous challenges.

Overall, Cruz believes that Sterling is the better champion for the bantamweight division, and he is pleased with the current champion.


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