“All that s*** he’s been talking, he’s got to back it up. He’s just putting more pressure on himself and when he gets knocked out Jan. 17 he’s going to have to be an announcer for the rest of his life. I think he found his new niche and that’s talking. He does do a good job analyzing and he’s been trying to be Conor McGregor for this fight and hype it up. He’s already figured out his niche and that’s going to be sitting behind the desk and talking… I’m going to put it on him, I’m going to break him. He’s kind of fought guys who stood still, stood right in front of him, and I’m not that kind of cat. My numbers on my strikes, my output is ridiculous and it’s going to break him. If you look at that Demetrious Johnson fight with him, Cruz couldn’t handle it. The only reason why he won that fight is by taking him down, holding him down and being the bigger fighter. He couldn’t handle Demetrious Johnson’s stand up and it’s going to be a different cat when I get in there.”
-T.J. Dillashaw talks to teammate Matt Brown on Fox Sports’ Great MMA Debate podcast about his matchup with Dominick Cruz, and why he’s going to beat the former Champion to retain his UFC Bantamweight Championship at UFC Fight Night 81.
Penick’s Analysis: Dillashaw got a bit flustered trying to express this as Cruz talked circles around him in that face to face, but again, that doesn’t have to be Dillashaw’s strong suit. Whether he can effectively trash talk face to face has no bearing on what he can do in the cage, and whether or not he’s able to articulate a gameplan is not indicative of his ability to pull one off. Cruz is very intelligent and can articulate what he needs to do in the cage and what his opponent’s weaknesses might be; that also doesn’t guarantee that it translates to him pulling off exactly what he feels he needs to do. This fight is very tough for both of them, and if Dillashaw can go in there and do to Cruz what he did to Renan Barao twice, it would be huge for him and establish him as the man at bantamweight with no added caveats.