TJ Dillashaw is ready to throw down with Dominick Cruz and wants the fight early next year, according to UFC Tonight.
The reigning UFC bantamweight champion has been recovering from elbow surgery following his fight with Joe Soto at UFC 177, but is ready to come back as soon as possible.
Cruz saw off Takeya Mizugaki in impressive fashion at UFC 178 after a near three-year layoff to earn a shot at the title he had to forfeit.
Master versus Apprentice
The two fighters share a similar style but it is Cruz who is seen as the originator of the fast and loose combo that has put Dillashaw on top.
Yet Dillashaw isn't scared of Cruz and - he let UFC Tonight know. He Tweeted out on the FOX Show: "What's up with TJ Dillashaw? Dillashaw is hoping for a Feb/March title fight vs. Dominick Cruz and is feeling great after elbow surgery.
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With the UFC already stacked in the first months of the New Year, a February or March date would mean it's unlikely to be a main event.
It's certainly a high profile clash and perhaps the biggest possible fight outside of Dillashaw facing Team Alpha Male stablemate, Urijah Faber - who also founded Alpha Male.
Cruz himself has a win over Faber, so he knows the Alpha Male style well and how to combat it, so that's one advantage he'll carry going into the fight - albeit a small one.
Dillashaw overcame such a 'deficit' when he beat Renan Barao (who had beaten Faber twice) last year to win the title.