Dominick Cruz, TJ Dillashaw Still Not Exactly Friends After UFC Title Fight

BOSTON — Much of the build-up entering TJ Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz’s bantamweight title fight at UFC Fight Night Boston revolved around the fighters’ war of words.

Cruz provided the large majority of the trash talk in the months before the fight, and he backed up his words with a split-decision win Sunday night at TD Garden to claim the belt for the second time in his UFC career.

There still seems to be some bad blood between him and Dillashaw, though.

“This isn’t fun,” a frustrated Dillashaw said. “The goal is to win coming into this. It’s real tough. Tough to take it. I didn’t like all the trash talk, that’s not who I am. I feel like I’m a little more of a role model. It’s tough.”

Cruz wasn’t buying the role model line, and his reaction was proof.

That said, the new champ admitted he had respect for Dillashaw before they stepped into the octagon.

“I already respected him,” Cruz said. “But we were fighting, so when you’re in a fight with someone and they’re talking about taking your head off and knocking you out in two rounds, and not getting any respect whatsoever.

“With that, I got mad, and I said what I wanted to say back. It wasn’t about disrespect. It’s just we’re getting into a fight, and me, that doesn’t make me a bad role model. It doesn’t make me a bad person. I’m going in there to hit this guy and punch him in the face. It’s a fight. Sorry I didn’t say kind things all the time.”

After such a great fight that lacked a clear winner, mixed martial arts fans can only hope UFC president Dana White and the sport’s other executives strongly consider a Cruz-Dillashaw rematch for the next bantamweight title fight.

The trash talk between them has planted the seeds for what could become a fantastic rivalry capable of headlining a pay-per-view card.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Jan 17, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Dominick Cruz (blue) punches TJ Dillashaw (red) during a world bantamweight championship bout at UFC Fight Night at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

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