Given his status as one of the best bantamweights in UFC history, Dominick Cruz says that he is used to having a target on his back.
Cruz, the longtime former UFC 135-pound champion, currently finds himself looking up the ladder in the UFC rankings after going 1-2 in his last three fights — with a win in March against Casey Kenney rebounding him from successive losses to Henry Cejudo and Cody Garbrandt, the latter of which occurred all the way back in December 2016.
Cruz again found himself as the recipient of a callout from Sean O’Malley, who issued a challenge to him and several other top bantamweight following his TKO win against Kris Moutinho at UFC 264 last weekend.
“Cody Garbrandt hasn’t won a fight since 2012,” O’Malley said after his win. “Petr Yan is petrified. Dominick Cruz is ducking me. [Rob Font] where you at?”
Cruz, though, has heard this all before.
“I’ve been called out every weekend for about eight weeks so I’ve been dodging every person that’s been calling me out for eight weeks,” Cruz joked on the UFC 264 broadcast.
“I’m looking to move up the division just like everybody else is looking to move up the division. Respect to every athlete, I’m looking to go up just like everyone else. Rob Font’s No. 3 [in the official UFC rankings]. If I want to call somebody out Rob Font, there we go. I can do it too.
“What the UFC does is what the UFC does,” Cruz added. “I’m not Conor McGregor where I can just say ‘hey give me this fight.’ So I’m just going to sit here and say No. 3, let’s go.”