TJ Dillashaw believed that he did enough to deserve to hold onto his world bantamweight championship Sunday night in Boston. The defending champ lost his crown to former champ Dominick Cruz after five hard, close-fought rounds in the UFC Fight Night main event and was not in a great mood, afterwards.
"It sucks. This isn't fun. My goal was to win, coming into this," Dillashaw said at the post-fight press conference.
"It is real tough to take it."
It is even tougher for Dillashaw to take it because of who he lost to. Cruz had battered Dillashaw verbally for months, leading up to their fight.
TJ never seemed at ease in the lead-up to the fight, with all the drama swirling around him, and he still wasn't, afterwards. "I didn't like all the trash talk," he said, with Cruz sitting feet away from him,
"That's not who I am. I wanted to be a little bit more of a role model."
At that, Cruz chuckled, shook his head and drank from a bottle of water. Clearly, he didn't see things the same way as Dillashaw.
The two may have embraced in mutual respect after their fight, but the bad blood is still there. "I always respected him, but we're fighting," Cruz responded.
"So, when you're in a fight with somebody, when they're talking about taking your head off and knocking you out in two rounds and not giving you 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 about, 'we're getting into a fight.' To me, that doesn't make me a bad role model. It doesn't make me a bad person."
Cruz knows that fighting is a dark thing, and isn't ashamed of going to dark places to prepare for battle. After all, words are not the worst things he and Dillashaw have now exchanged.
"I'm going in there to hit this guy, punch him in the face, you know? It's a fight," he explained.
"I'm sorry I didn't say kind things all the time but it's a fight. he didn't exactly do very kind things to me in there and I didn't do very kind things to him, back. so forgive me for my mean words."