T.J. Dillashaw dominated Renan Barao to win the UFC bantamweight championship earlier this year, and successfully defended it a few months after. As he looks towards his second title defense against Dominick Cruz, the Team Alpha Male product also discussed some lofty goals he had, including a possible super-fight against another long term UFC champion.
He spoke about facing Jose Aldo and potentially holding two belts during an appearance with Submission Radio:
“It was after Chad Mendes’ fight, we were talking about the fight and how close it was, and you know Aldo as a champion, and I just believe that I could beat the guy. You know watching his style, he’s very similar to Barao, and I feel like I have the right style to beat him. And it’s just, me you know just playing with the confidence, and that obviously I know I need to hold my belt for a few more fights and look dominant once I’m done with Cruz, and make sure I’m dominant at 135 before I even think about going to a different weight class and try and capture another belt. But once I got the UFC belt I had to set to set some goals, and that was maybe be the first one to have two belts at the same time. And looking at Aldo fighting, I just know that I could beat him.”
“My foot work and my style of fighting, I have a certain style that I worked on for beating Renan Barao and I feel like it could be very effective against Jose Aldo. I think almost, I wouldn’t say easier; don’t get me wrong that’s a really, really, really tough fight, but Jose Aldo in my mind is a very predictable fighter. He does the same thing every time he comes out and fights, and I just have the belief to be able to come out and beat him. And that will take you a long way.”
Before any of that can materialize, he will first have to get past Dominick Cruz. While the two bantamweight kings have been regularly compared due to their incredible movement and footwork, Dillashaw thinks Cruz is by far the less dangerous fighter:
“Not so much technique based, but I was more impressed with him fighting aggressive. You know I’ve always seen Dominick Cruz fighting kind of on the outside, pitter-pattering, and moving around, and just winning fights by points. I mean, this might be his first finish ever. And for it to finally come this far out in his career, it’s impressive. It’s good for him that he’s finally getting that killer instinct, but I’m also gonna use that against him. He’s gonna switch his style up, he’s gonna get a little too aggressive I think and he’s gonna wear himself out, and my cardio’s gonna last forever.”
“I knock people out, you know I finish fights, I’m aggressive, I’m coming at you. There’s never one point in time you can let your guard down; ’cause if you do, you’re going to get knocked out. And Dominick Cruz, he’s a lot less dangerous, he doesn’t have the power behind his punches because he doesn’t settle his feet. You know he’s always dipping out of the way, and throwing his punches, and when you’re doing that, you can’t deliver any power behind your punches. Yeah sure it’s flashy and you score a lot points, yeah. But I can do the exact same thing but then bring some power with it and be a little bit lethal and dangerous. I think my combo’s are more technical, I stay a little bit tighter than he does, and I feel like my grappling is a whole lot better than him. He uses anti-Jiu Jitsu. He uses takedowns to score points, and I’m trying to take you down and finish you. I’m going to stay on top of him and leach on to him, and I just feel I’m a whole lot more dangerous than him in every aspect in MMA.”
Listed to the entire interview on the clip above where Dillashaw also states that Conor McGregor would get ‘destroyed’ by the likes of Frankie Edgar and Chad Mendes.
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