Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz will return from a four year hiatus in January, as he attempts to win back the belt he held with such conviction since the WEC days. ‘The Dominator’ has blasted ‘Killashaw’ as a fake champion since he was forced to vacate the belt, and the rivalry for their UFC Fight Night 81 showdown is coming along quite nicely.

The big difference between himself and Dillashaw, according to Cruz, is that only one of them is proven as a winner. ‘The Dominator’ makes reference to ‘The Viper’ getting finished by John Dodson during their clash in The Ultimate Fighter 14 finale. Originally uploaded by Laaficion As quoted by¬†Bloody Elbow:

“This knee was much easier to fix than the first one. I looked great after double ACL surgery coming back, and I know for a fact that I will do it again against TJ,” Cruz said.

“It’s pretty basic. The division, while we do have a lot of guys moving around, what’s really changed? The champion right now, has lost to two different people in the same division. One of them, finished him and was at 125, and that’s John Dodson.”

Indeed, Cruz is on a winning streak that very few can rival, but the fact remains that Dillashaw picked up the slack in his absence. Beating Renan Barao for the second time this past July, ‘The Viper’ could potentialy debut on the pound-for-pound list with a win over Cruz. ‘The Dominator’ continued:

“That’s the champion at 135 right now. Got knocked out by Dodson. He’s very very beatable, and that’s been proven. You haven’t proven a lot of ways to beat me since 2007, when I was 21 years old, working 40 hours a week while I was training.”

“The only thing these guys have to hold on to in beating me, is the fact that I’ve been out for 4 years,” he said. “That’s what’s going to be scary. I’m out 4 years, and I’m still going to beat you. So then what?”

We saw a very fired up version of Cruz return briefly at UFC 178, absolutely smashing Takey Mizugaki in a one minute mauling, and many believe that the ex-champion could be sending a beatdown of that nature to ‘The Viper’ come January 17.

Their styles are surprisingly similar given how rare their movement type is, but Dominick Cruz is certainly more defensively active with his methods. We don’t get to see much head movement like that in MMA, and as such it’s always fun to watch.

What are your thoughts on the ex-boss returning to fight the champion at Fight Night 81?

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