A bit of an interesting moment will happen this weekend, as former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz will be a part of ESPN’s broadcast crew for UFC Vegas 32: T.J. Dillashaw vs. Cory Sandhagen at the UFC Apex.
Cruz has been a prominent voice on the UFC’s broadcast team for years, beginning as a desk analyst during the promotion’s time with FOX and his role has expanded ever since the UFC’s big move to ESPN. Cruz will be an analyst as his old rival, Dillashaw makes his return to the UFC octagon after a two-year hiatus against the rising star Sandhagen.
Cruz beat Dillashaw in his own return bout in early 2016, earning the bantamweight belt for the second time in beating Dillashaw in a razor-thin split-decision victory. Ever since that fight, Dillashaw has wanted another shot at Cruz before his career is over.
Dillashaw will make his first walk to the octagon after a long layoff this weekend, after having served a two-year USADA suspension for testing positive for EPOs. Many in the UFC’s bantamweight division, including Cruz and Sandhagen, have ripped Dillashaw for cheating and trying to gain certain advantages during his title reign.
Before falling to former UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo, Dillashaw had just begun a second stint as the UFC’s bantamweight champion after beating Cody Garbrandt in back-to-back fights. He was attempting at becoming a double-champion in the UFC if he was able to get past Cejudo, but he ended falling by first-round TKO at a UFC Fight Night event.
The winner of Dillashaw and Sandhagen this weekend will more than likely be next for the UFC bantamweight title shot. Current UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling is widely expected to fight later this year in an immediate rematch with the former champion, Petr Yan. It’ll be interesting to see if Cruz and Dillashaw exchange words after the fight, depending on how it plays out.
Do you think the UFC should have old rivals commentating on one another’s fights in the octagon?