The fight between Dominick Cruz and Scott Jorgensen will determine the first ever UFC bantamweight champion, but win, lose, or draw the current titleholder will be taking some time off after the bout.
WEC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz told MMAWeekly Radio on Tuesday night, and said the timing of his upcoming fight was good to keep him active, but afterwards he’s going to have to take a break for a much needed surgery.
“To be honest, with the timing on this I had a couple options. I went into that fight with Joseph Benavidez with a hurt hand, and I just went ahead and took care of some stuff so it wouldn’t be an issue in the fight, and I had another option after I got done with that fight. The doctors told me you’re going to need surgery, you’re going to need to get it fixed, and you’re going to be out for six months at least,” Cruz explained.
“I just did not want to be out that long. I don’t want to be the kind of champion that just sits out over and over and over, so I just decided to tough it out and take another fight and get the surgery right after this fight, and sit on it for a minute after I re-win my belt.”
Much like many fighters who compete through various injuries, his hand is nothing that actually affects his punching or power in the striking game, but still an injury that has to be dealt with like any other. Some fighters have knees that eventually have to be repaired, Cruz just happens to need his hand worked on.
“That’s exactly what the situation is. It’s one of those things I’ve been putting off, and you always train with things that hurt and you learn in this sport and as you’re growing, and as you’re growing in sports related to MMA, you learn that injuries are part of what you do. You figure out a way to work around them,” said Cruz.
The biggest factor for the WEC champion heading into next week’s fight against Jorgensen in Arizona is that the hand has caused him no problems training, and it will be fine to punch his opponent in the face as much as necessary.
“I’ve been fine through this camp, it hasn’t been an issue,” Cruz stated. “I’ve been able to do everything I need to do to be 100-percent prepared, and now I’m ready to go into this fight and just do what I’ve got to do.”
When the fight is finished and if Cruz has his way, he’ll walk out of WEC 53 with his WEC title still intact and the shiny new UFC bantamweight belt, and then deal with some surgery that will sideline him for a few months.
“After I get the hand surgery, I’ll probably be out for at least four to six months,” said Cruz. “The type of work they need to do to my hand, that’s what they told me, but I’m a quick recovery type guy so I’m going to go ahead and say four months. That’s really not too bad.”
Cruz will first head to Phoenix, Ariz., next week to defend his bantamweight title for the second time when he faces Scott Jorgensen in the co-main event of WEC 53.