Article by: FOX Sports
The Ultimate Fighter Live coach & UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz answered some final questions before making the trip to Vegas for TUF 15.
TUF: What do you think of Urijah Faber as a fighter and as a coach?
Cruz: I respect his game as a fighter and even as a coach. I havenâ€™t seen him coach and I havenâ€™t worked with him, but judging by some of the things he has done with the guys that heâ€™s got I think heâ€™s got good coaching skills. But that really doesnâ€™t pertain to me or influence the way that Iâ€™m going to fight him at all.
TUF: What will you be looking for from fighters during the fight-in rounds?
Cruz: More than anything, itâ€™s mental toughness. Even the guys that are getting their butts kicked, I want to see if they can come back and win. The guys that are down on the scoring cards, they might think too hard, psyche themselves out and just quit. So more than anything Iâ€™m going to be looking for mental toughness.
TUF: How are you going to coach Team Cruz?
Cruz: My personal coaching style is very hands on and I like to lead by example, so if I have a problem with the way that they are doing something Iâ€™ll get down and do it with them so that I make sure that they are doing it correctly. Iâ€™m kind of a perfectionist.
TUF: How would you approach TUF if you were a fighter in the competition, not a coach?
Cruz: I would be very secluded to myself, all ears, listening and just trying to suck in like a sponge all the information I could so that in any circumstance I could come out with some new knowledge. The more I worry about myself, the less I get involved with other peopleâ€™s drama, so thatâ€™s how I would do it as an athlete. I would get the most I could out of the coaches and the experience just to improve myself so that I get better throughout the show and beat everybody.
TUF: Whatâ€™s the most important thing youâ€™ll teach your fighters so that they become successful in the UFC?
Cruz: Be open-minded, never know everything and just listen. You have to have trust and faith in the people around you coach-wise. You canâ€™t do it by yourself. You need help. You canâ€™t coach yourself. You canâ€™t make up your own regimen. So more than anything be open-minded and never be too good for anybody. And have a lot of confidence.
TUF: Why are you going to win TUF?
Cruz: Iâ€™m going to win because Iâ€™m open-minded. Iâ€™m still learning while Iâ€™m coaching and Iâ€™m even learning while Iâ€™m learning. Iâ€™m always taking in information in order to better myself so, in this situation while Iâ€™m coaching these guys Iâ€™m going to be learning about them. Iâ€™m going to build relationships with them, learn how they tick and get in on the mental side of things with my athletes. I believe that the mental aspect is going to be the biggest challenge in this next 13 week period for them.
Watch the Season Premiere of The Ultimate Fighter Live March 9 at 9 on FX