Reigning UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has a long and rocky history with Sacramento based gym Team Alpha Male, a team founded and led by Cruz’s most bitter rival, Urijah Faber. Cruz has most notably battled with “The California Kid” on three different occasions, winning twice with the most recent victory coming earlier this month at UFC 199. With a clear cut unanimous decision victory, “The Dominator” closed the door on a near decade long rivalry with Faber.
Cruz has also had bad blood with ex-Team Alpha Male member TJ Dillashaw, who “The Dominator” outpointed last January to recapture the title. In Cruz’s mind, the rivalry between him and Team Alpha Male will never end:
“I’ve been facing these guys since the beginning of my career. I said it a long time ago on one of my interviews that I chop one head off and another one just pops right back up,” Cruz said (transcription by MMA Fighting). “Those guys are never going to stop hating me. They’re never going to stop wanting to beat me.”
“Faber’s going to keep promoting these guys because he collects a percentage off promoting these guys.”
Cruz often accuses Faber of collecting money off rising fighters from the gym, and the next surging Team Alpha Male bantamweight appears to be No. 7-ranked Cody “No Love” Garbrandt. Garbrandt recently scored a brutal knockout victory over Thomas Almeida, and Faber has said that he’ll eventually be a tough test for Cruz.
The champion, however, isn’t worried about “No Love”, and actually issued a challenge to his rivals over in Sacramento:
“To me, it was just normal, Team Alpha Fail business. Them talking, trying to skip positions in the line,” Cruz said. “The way I see it is, just get in line man. Beat somebody that’s ranked in the top 3.”
“That’s how I feel about those guys, any of those guys. Don’t try to talk your way to the front of the line.”
Has Team Alpha Male jumped the gun on Garbrandt, or is the young knockout artist on his way to a title shot?