Dominick Cruz may no longer be the champion, but he is taking his next fight as if it was for the title.
Dominick Cruz will be in familiar territory for his upcoming fight against Jimmie Rivera at UFC 219. Just like how he took on his fight against Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 178 three years ago, “The Dominator” will be entering the contest without the UFC bantamweight title in his possession.
The difference, however, is that he will be coming off a loss, which is something he has not experienced for nine straight years. But for Cruz, the only difference is the amount of money he will be taking home, as his approach remains the same.
“We don’t make near as much money — we don’t get paid near the same — unless we fight for the belt,” Cruz said (via ESPN.com). “It doesn’t matter, though. Jimmie Rivera, to me, is the title fight. This is how I’ve approached every fight until now: The person they put in front of me is the title. That’s it.”
Cruz may have the physical and experience advantage, but he will be facing a younger and streaking Rivera who has been undefeated in the UFC. But even so, he is more than assured that he can get the job done, just by being the Dominick Cruz that the MMA world is accustomed to seeing.
“I just have to be me, man. Me being me doesn’t lose to Jimmie Rivera. But more importantly, a healthy me doesn’t lose to anybody in the world.”
UFC 219 is scheduled to take place on December 30th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.