The UFC‘s bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz, has been out of action for quite some time now. In fact, the last time he made an appearance inside the octagon was back in 2011 against Demetrious Johnson, who is now the flyweight champion of the UFC. Before competing again, Cruz suffered back-to-back ACL injuries which have prevented him from defending his bell.
Meanwhile, Renan Barao has been building an impressive winning streak, going on to win the interim bantamweight championship by beating Urijah Faber. However, Barao has the beat the true champion, Cruz, if he ever wants to reach the pinnacle of being a mixed martial artist.
In an interview with Sportsnet, Cruz detailed his recovery and what his thoughts are about being stripped of his UFC title.
“The belt is there. The bottom line is me getting healthy so I can go out there and do what I do best which is prove why I am where I am today. I’m not here by accident. I work hard to be there I’m at and I’m working hard in therapy to make sure I return to form as soon as possible. That’s the goal.”
If Cruz is able to recover properly, he still is a viable threat to Barao. Cruz is one of the fastest fighters in that division, and he couples his strikes with his wrestling unlike any fighter in that division. A lot of his movement and speed is based on his legs, so they will need to be fully recovered in order for him to have the same kind of success he had in the past.
Cruz is also a very marketable fighter, so the UFC needs him inside the cage as soon as possible in order to keep the division going.