Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz will finally have the opportunity to regain the title he technically never lost when he meets current boss TJ Dillashaw in the main event of January 17’s UFC Fight Night 81 from Boston, Massachusetts.

Despite being considered by many to be one of the best 135-pounders in history, Cruz has competed just once over the last four years, constantly dealing with a plethora of injuries.

He was stripped of his title in 2014 after being forced out of a bout with then interim champ Renan Barao, but it seems as if he is set to go for next month.

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That being said, Dillashaw vs. Cruz presents a very intriguing stylistic matchup, especially noting how similar the two are inside of the cage.

Outside of the cage, the two champions have also built up quite a rivalry, with “Killashaw” recently calling Cruz a hypocrite, and a dancer rather than a fighter (Via Sherdog):

“It’s funny, he’s going back and forth trying to find something to talk about and he’s kind of being a hypocrite. Before he was saying I was copying him, now he’s saying he’s different. I don’t even know if he can decide on what he really wants to say. The difference is that I am a lot more aggressive fighter. I think he’s trying out for ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ He’s moving around, with pop shots and not wanting to get hit. Which is a good strategy, obviously, but he’s not fighting, he’s not entertaining. I’m not only here to win, but entertain and to knock him out.”

It appears as each man has a chip on his shoulder and each man has something to prove.

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When the cage door finally closes, fans we’ll be treated to a duel between two very closely matched, top caliber 135-pounders both itching to prove that he’s the better man.

Who will walk away with the title?

Sports media and journalism student watching from the East Coast. I'm a young writer with a passion for mixed martial arts looking to make my mark as a journalist. Email: [email protected]