Cruz, the dilapidated two-time bantamweight champion, faces Casey Kenney within the featured prelim of UFC 259 on March 6 on the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
This won’t stamp the first time Cruz competes on the prelims in his UFC profession. When Cruz returned from an virtually three-300 and sixty five days layoff to face Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 178 in 2014, he changed into as soon as the featured prelim of the cardboard and fully capitalized on that map by working correct through Mizugaki within the first spherical.
So the bantamweight legend doesn’t investigate cross-check the prelims as a negative thing in any appreciate. In fact, Cruz (22-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) sees perks of being the featured prelim, which he considers a coveted map on the cardboard.
“That’s presumably basically the most viewed predicament on your entire fight card,” Cruz told ESPN. “I’ll beget basically the most eyes on me. Esteem I mentioned, I’ve had a fairly decent layoff, so let’s receive me in front of a lot of eyes is what I’m pondering. At the a similar time, being on the prelims, that’s an ego thing. I’m no longer in actuality connected to my ego at this level. I do know what I am. I do know the issues that I’ve done. It doesn’t affect me to be viewed extra, and I’m going to. I’ll be viewed extra.
“More folks tune into that then they’ll the well-known card. I’m correct forward of the well-known card so every person is staring at that one as a result of it’s the tip of the prelims. It’s roughly esteem the lead-off hitter of a baseball crew. That’s in most cases the fight that folk wanna investigate cross-check virtually whenever they place these fights collectively. I’m infected to be in that predicament.”
In his latest time out at UFC 249 in Would perchance perchance perchance additionally, Cruz changed into as soon as stopped by then champion Henry Cejudo, shedding two consecutive fights for the first time in his profession. Nine of Cruz’s previous 10 fights dating support to his WEC tenure had been championship fights, but Cruz insists the drastic descend in his placement on the cardboard doesn’t affect him in any appreciate.
“To no longer be on the well-known card, I don’t receive paid extra,” Cruz mentioned. “None of us opponents receive paid any diversified whether we’re on the well-known card or the prelims. So if folks wanna stand up for the rest, stand up for that. If the guys are on the well-known card, pay them basically the most quantity of cash I convey if that’s one thing to stand for.
“But in actuality, I receive paid the a similar regardless if I’m on the backside of the prelims, the tip of the well-known occasion, I’m on a series contract. If truth be told what issues is coming into into front of basically the most eyes, and I imagine that predicament will get extra eyes than some other predicament on your entire fight card. It’s logical.”