Even several months removed from his last fight, Dominick Cruz is still holding a bit of a grudge against referee Keith Peterson. It is for that reason, that he decided to request a different referee for UFC 259.
The last time we saw Cruz in the Octagon, he was facing off against Henry Cejudo for the bantamweight title. Unfortunately things did not go his way, as he was stopped in the second round, much to his frustration.
After the fight, Dominick notoriously took aim at Peterson, who was overseeing the bout, saying that he smelled of cigarettes and alcohol and stopped the fight too soon. It was a stark contrast from the man who was noted for being so good at accepting losses.
View this post on Instagram
Dominick Cruz Requests No Keith Peterson
Even though it has been almost a year since Dominick Cruz lost to Henry Cejudo, he is still holding on to these bitter feelings for Keith Peterson. In fact, he spoke before his UFC 259 fight with Casey Kenney and said that it was his intention to request to not have Keith as his referee.
Speaking at the pre-fight press conference, the former bantamweight champ confirmed that he did just that. He made it clear that this was nothing personal, and that he just was not comfortable leaving his fate to that man.
“I made the request, and you hope the commission can honor your request. But when it all comes down to it, they run things, right?” Cruz said (h/t MMAJunkie). “They have control over everything.”
Not only did Dom request that, but it seems he will be getting what he asked for. The UFC’s VP of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner assured Dominick that he would do what he could to make sure the request was granted.
“Marc Ratner alluded he was able to make that possible for me,” Cruz said. “It’s not that I hate this guy or anything. This is a business thing, and I did not feel like he was doing his just. There are plenty of refs.
“I’ve never had an issue with any other ref in the history of my career – before the fight started. I had an issue with him before the fight started in the locker room. So that’s what made me stand by the fact that I’d prefer another ref.”
What do you make of this decision by Dominick Cruz? How do you see his fight with Casey Kenney going down this weekend?