Former UFC and WEC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz hasn’t always been complementary of his one-time opponent T.J. Dillashaw.
And when Cruz was booked to appear on “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show” on ESPN, you would be forgiven for expecting the Arizona native to pour scorn on the man who was recently handed a two-year suspension for failing a drug test, with USADA finding EPO in his submitted samples.
“I wouldn’t have been surprised if he did or he didn’t test [positive], to be honest,” Cruz said. [H/T Sherdog]
“Realistically, I have no attachments to T.J. Dillashaw or his decisions. I just don’t. He chose this… I actually feel bad for him.
“Regardless of what I think, the world believes that there’s an asterisk next to [his career]. Same with Jon Jones. There’s an asterisk next to the story.”
Despite Cruz’s sympathies for the man he won back his UFC bantamweight championship from in 2016, he appears to not think the suspension handed to Dillashaw is not all that steep.
If anything, “The Dominator” thinks Dillashaw’s suspension could be of benefit to the disgraced former champion.
“I think he’s going to come back,” Cruz added. “Two years really is nothing. I’ve been out longer than that injured. And he’s just going to get healthy [in that time].
“That’s all that’s going to happen.T.J. Dillashaw’s going to take two years, raise his kid. Probably be a good father to his kid which is better for his family. He’s going to heal up. Who knows what he’s going to do in his off time. Who knows how much healthier, how much better he gets, if he fills any gaps.
“I honestly think that when T.J. Dillashaw comes back he’s going to be better than he was when he left. Because he’s going to be rested and he’s going to have time for his family.
“[The suspension time is] being played out as a much bigger picture than it is. If anything it’s a gift.”