“Of course, I have an ego at times; it’s a healthy thing to have an ego, at times,” Cruz emphasized. “It’s just that there’s a time when having an ego does not serve you. So, in that particular instance [of being on the prelims], I’m not attached to my ego at all. On fight night, I am.”

So when he squares off against the former two-division LFA champion in his first non-title bout in nearly six years, Cruz will be treating this fight ⁠— and his opponent ⁠— no differently.

“I’m excited to be in there. Casey Kenney is an exciting matchup because of his durability, his skillset, and he’s improved a lot in his striking in the three-fight win streak he’s put together,” Cruz said. “I’ve lost my last two fights. They were title fights, with some of the best in the world. I’m excited to test myself against someone with a win streak. That’s all this is. It’s just a test for myself.”