Dominic Cruz says he likes belts and high rankings, but he’s ready for big money. “I’m in this for the money,” he said on MMAJunkie radio. “I’ve had the belt, I’ve had the rankings, I’ve had all that stuff, and I realized what it really means is it puts a little asterisk next to your name and says, ‘Oh yeah, he’s really good.’ It doesn’t get you paid. The only way to get you paid is to get the fight these fans want to see. I haven’t heard very much about rematches, but I’ve heard a lot about [Cody] Garbrandt, [John] Lineker, [Jose] Aldo, [Conor] McGregor. Those are the fights fans are interested in seeing.”
He laid out a timeline and scenario for facing either Conor or Aldo, the two biggest name opponents he could realistically be matched against. “I want a big fight and try to bring the belts together at 145,” he said. “Conor and Aldo are getting ready to fight after Conor fights Nate. We’ll see how that fights goes. That’s hard for both those guys, Nate and Conor. That’s a crazy fight. I’m excited to see that one. The winner of that could possibly face Aldo (soon) if Conor stays healthy, and I could wait on that, bring two belts together, and I think tons of fans would be interested in seeing that – me fighting Aldo or McGregor, depending on who wins that one.”
He also talked about the 135-pound division. “These are just fights I feel can fill up seats, that people want to see the 135-pound division compete against either Aldo, McGregor, or somebody else new in the 135-pound division,” Cruz said. “That’s something that’s never been done. It’s been tried. Conor’s tried it. He’s got the 145-pound belt, and he was going to go do it in another division, but that kind of got (scrapped) with the Nate thing, and now that’s going on. I’d like to do it. I’d love to do that and be the first.”
Wielenga’s Analysis: Cruz defiantly has a right to want the “ big-money” fights. He has never lost in the UFC and I think there is a lot of intrigue in seeing how he would fair against the top guys in the featherweight division. As he mentioned, there are still some very good fights for him at bantamweight though so if he can continue to stay healthy we could see some very interesting fights.