Dominick Cruz is about as a lot of a straight shooter as one will get in MMA. If you happen to ask him a query, he’s going to present you a solution — typically whether or not you prefer it or not.
That’s why Cruz was a bit of confused when he heard Marlon Vera’s pre-fight chatter forward of their essential occasion this Saturday at UFC San Diego. Earlier this 12 months, Vera lambasted Cruz for allegedly ducking fights with him because of his ranking. Cruz pushed again on the narrative on the time, explaining that if he did ever flip Vera down up to now, it was most likely only because the date didn’t work out for him. However Vera has largely stored that very same power because the matchup was booked, and Cruz isn’t positive why “Chito” is so upset.
“You’ve received to recollect, it’s not as away from communication between fighters is because it could possibly be,” Cruz stated Monday on The MMA Hour. “So that you’ve received a matchmaker, you’ve received managers — who is aware of what the matchmaker is saying to the supervisor, then who is aware of what the supervisor is saying to the fighter. Whereas, I signify myself. I discuss to the matchmaker instantly. So I’m fairly clear. I advised you, ‘I would like the date, I would like any person ranked above me, and that’s it.’
“And if the date doesn’t align with the timing of the individual, I might see how they could suppose that I don’t need to combat them. However possibly they only need to combat at a distinct date than I do? So it’s OK. I can’t blame the man [Vera] for pondering that approach if that’s what he needs to suppose. Nevertheless it’s not essentially true both, as a result of clearly we’re right here.”
Cruz isn’t the one standard UFC fighter to just lately open up about his determination to chop out the middleman in conversations between he and UFC matchmakers. Fellow bantamweight star Sean O’Malley gave a lengthy explanation on The MMA Hour this past month about why he now represents himself in UFC negotiations quite than using an MMA supervisor.
Cruz clarified that he doesn’t essentially handle himself; he merely chooses to signify himself and talk for himself when it comes time to ebook his subsequent UFC combat.
“I’ve needed to study,” Cruz stated. “I’ve been within the sport for 16-plus years, so it’s like, after a whilst you’ve constructed some relationships with individuals and also you perceive. I’ve received a very good relationship with [UFC matchmaker] Sean Shelby within the sense of communication. If he needs to speak to me, he can attain out to me. And I feel numerous us fighters can try this with Sean Shelby every time we would like. You’ve simply received to have the heuvos to do it, as a result of he’s a very good talker and he is aware of the way to get below your pores and skin, and he is aware of the way to throw this man at you.
“However with Shelby and me, we’ve got a reasonably clear line of communication, and with that I can get to the purpose. And right here we’re.”
Cruz added that given the present panorama of the UFC, in his eyes, the one occasion wherein it normally is sensible for him to make use of the companies of a supervisor as an middleman is when it’s time to renegotiate a brand new multi-fight contract.
Apart from that, the previous two-time UFC bantamweight champion likes to deal with his enterprise himself.
“Within the UFC, we’re signed to a six-fight contract,” Cruz stated. “Are we not? 4-fight contract normally on the lowest. So why would I pay any person for 4 fights when it’s set after one? That doesn’t make sense to me. After which on high of that, with a supervisor, how are they presupposed to be bringing in sponsors if the UFC dictates the sponsors? So now the UFC dictates the sponsors, and UFC dictates the contract, so what’s the supervisor truly doing? They’re simply speaking and creating the communication. And what managers are good at, from my expertise, is making it look like they’ve all of the hookups — however within the UFC, what hookups are you able to get when the UFC makes the choices for you?
“Now, for those who’re in Bellator, for those who’re in PFL, for those who’re in any of those different organizations, it makes good sense to me for a fighter to have illustration, as a result of sponsors can get introduced in, they will construct relationships elsewhere. They’ll have a lineup of like 10 fighters, and since one supervisor has a lineup of 10 fighters, sponsors would possibly come to them instantly and say, ‘Hey, do you may have anyone?’ So then it is sensible. However within the UFC, what number of sponsors are even allowed within the UFC? Only a few. They usually’re already determined by the UFC. So the UFC sponsors who they need and the UFC makes the contracts.
“So for me, after the supervisor renegotiates my contract from one combat, I really feel like I’ll pay them on that, after which from there I can do the communication for myself, as a result of it’s already [there],” Cruz continued. “The contract is ready. It’s solely going to go up a specific amount every combat from there and that’s already dictated after the primary dialog. So a supervisor is actually solely having one dialog and it’s getting is getting paid out for 4 fights? That doesn’t make sense to me.”
Cruz went on to clarify that twice he’s gotten near combating out his contract and testing free company, however finally he and the UFC got here to some type of deal.
“They’ve all the time been prepared to work with me,” Cruz stated. “I simply don’t discuss [to them] like a prick.
“It’s very easy for those who simply discuss to them; discuss to [UFC executive] Hunter [Campbell], discuss to Sean Shelby. They’re very open to hearken to you for those who can create the dialog from a impartial place. It’s once you come at all of them loopy [is when things go wrong], ‘I deserve this.’ You’ve simply received to return from a impartial place. No person deserves something. You earn all the pieces get on this sport, so that you’ve received to know they’re operating a enterprise.
“I’ve been doing this so lengthy, I’ve watched the UFC construct themselves from Spike TV to Versus to FOX to ESPN,” Cruz continued. “Like, I do know what they’ve carried out — they’re worldwide, they’re worldwide. It’s unbelievable, the enterprise mannequin that they constructed into. Bought to WME-IMG or no matter that lengthy acronym is. Simply the steps that they’ve taken, how will you not respect the UFC as a enterprise? They’re fairly sensible.”