Moments after UFC fighters hear their names called in victory, a microphone usually gets stuck in front of their mouths to record the sounds that come out of it.
It can be a star-making opportunity for some.
For most, though, it’s a chance to hype yourself and make a play for your next opponent with the “call out.”
Long Island’s Aljamain Sterling, fresh off a solid unanimous decision victory over Brett Johns last month at UFC Atlantic City, respectfully invited Dominick Cruz to be his next opponent.
Such call-outs are nothing new to Cruz, the former UFC and WEC bantamweight champion with more than 12 years of experience and 22 wins in 24 attempts.
“I actually don’t really care, at all. Not even a little,” Cruz told Newsday on Thursday about Sterling’s request. “It makes sense. You’re supposed to bark up the ladder. Why would I care if people underneath me on the rankings are calling me out? That’s exactly what’s supposed to happen. That makes him intelligent.”
Cruz is the No. 2-ranked fighter in the UFC bantamweight division. He last fought on Dec. 30, 2016, losing his title by unanimous decision to Cody Garbrandt.
As for his interest in fighting No. 8 Sterling (14-3), Cruz sounded like he had very little.
“Thank you for spreading my name around Long Island and New York for me,” Cruz said. “It’s much appreciated.”