With Cruz and Assuncao Injured, Who Should Get TJ Dillashaw Next?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, Dominick Cruz is injured. In a really sad piece of news, Dom, who sat out from October 1, 2011 through September 27, 2014, just announced that he’s hurt again.

This is really unfortunate since his return at UFC 178 was a great story, as he emphatically obliterated Takeya Mizugaki in one minute, then called out bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw and the rest of the Alpha Fails. I was really looking forward to that fight since both dudes have really interesting footwork.

Bantamweight news got even worse as #4 ranked fighter, and the last guy to beat Dillashaw, Raphael Assuncao announced that he was also injured with a pair of shattered ankles.

With Renan Barao getting taken to the limit against #14 Mitch Gagnon on Saturday, and the likelihood of Dillashaw fighting his Team Alpha Male training partner Urijah Faber being smaller than Cruz returning to fighting before the next presidential election, title challengers are looking a little slim.

Luckily, there are a few options available:

John “The Magician” Dodson

Dodson is the first man to beat Dillashaw, winning The Ultimate Fighter season 14 at bantamweight before dropping down to flyweight. Of course, Dodson also has a knee injury, but he’s slated to return around mid-2015, which can’t be said of Cruz or Assuncao at this point.

Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson

Another solid option is the current flyweight champion and one of the best fighters, period, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. You like super fights, you like champions fighting champions, you like the idea of TJ VS DJ? This fight would have it all! Plus, Johnson, as shown above, brutally knocked out Dillashaw’s Alpha Male teammate, Joseph Benavidez, so there’s a revenge angle. Oh, also, it would give Johnson an opponent that he hasn’t beaten before, which is always good.

Marlon Moraes

The only issue here is that Marlon Moraes is the current World Series of Fighting champion. Of course, since Dillashaw’s last opponent was Joe Soto, the Tachi Palace Fights champion, it shouldn’t be that hard for the UFC to buy-out Moraes’ contract, right?