Dominick Cruz is a nice guy. He’s friendly at autograph signings, shakes hands, smiles for pictures and does that whole deal.
But that’s with fans, not opponents.
The UFC bantamweight champion is kind, respectful, and all that, but when it comes to guys he’s destined to meet in the Octagon, it’s a different game. When standing across from Cruz, it’s best that opponents prepare for someone who is ready to put it all on the line in order to become the victor.
Nothing is too far when it comes to the extent of where Cruz will go, apparently. In fact, the champ says he’s there to kill.
It doesn’t matter who it is, Cruz fights to the death.
“I don’t go out of my way to be super nice it’s fight time,” Cruz told MMAWeekly Radio Weekend Edition. “When it’s fight time, I’m in there to kill you. I don’t care how nice I’ve talked about you, I don’t care how respectful I am; when it’s time to fight, I’m going to kill you.”
Next on Cruz’s murderous mission is none other than “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson. The two are scheduled to meet at UFC on Versus 6 in Washington D.C., and Cruz already sees how he plans on winning this one. According to the 135-pound champ, he’s going to do the same thing to “Mighty Mouse” that he’s done to everyone else and force the fighter to adjust his approach.
While Johnson is arguably one of the quickest fighters ever to compete in the UFC, Cruz doesn’t think the fighter out of Washington State has faced anyone quite like the champ.
Quickness versus quickness, Cruz sees himself having good chances on Oct. 1.
“I see myself going in there and doing what I’ve been doing, and that’s forcing people to adjust,” he said. “Something that he’s been able to do is out-quick everybody. And the thing is, I still don’t think that he’s fought anybody quite as quick as myself.”
The champ is confident, from the sounds of it, and with good reason. He’s beaten everybody he’s faced and done so with a unique style that’s hard for the opposition to figure out. Against Johnson, he sees his reach being a strong advantage and looks to control anything and everything the challenger has to offer.
Nullification of Johnson’s strengths will play the theme that night in Washington D.C., and Cruz feels he’ll have no problem doing that. Actually, Cruz sees himself doing what he wants with the pace of the fight.
“I know how to use my range and he has a very long distance to close in order to use any of his grappling skills, which is something that I’ve been able to nullify from everybody that I’ve fought,” he said.
“I can have this fight wherever I want it.”
Cruz’s confidence stems from his success. While other professional athletes are out partying the night away, Cruz focuses more of his time in the gym, getting better and sharpening his tools.
The rock-star lifestyle hasn’t been as attractive as the gold belt or achieving the goals he’s laid out for himself. The champ, regardless of being the top 135-pound fighter in the UFC, still has some things he’d like to prove to the world of mixed martial arts.
He wants to be recognized as the best of the best… period.
“The reason why I’m not big into the whole partying and living the rock-star life, for lack of a better term, is because I’d rather train,” he said. “I have goals set. I have things that I’m trying to do.
“I still definitely do feel that I have something to prove to myself and people all over the world. It’s not going to stop. I still live that way because that’s how I choose to live.
“I want to be pound-for-pound the best fighter on the planet one of these days.”