Former UFC and WEC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has been sidelined since September, and don’t expect to see him back in the Octagon any time soon. Having lost his belt and his ranking, Cruz is in know hurry to rush the rehabilitation of his latest injury, another torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Cruz has been plagued by injuries since he made the transition from the WEC to the UFC, dealing with multiple knee injuries and a torn groin muscle. He’s fought just one time since October of 2011. All the injuries and missed time caused the UFC to strip him of his bantamweight championship.
So now, Cruz isn’t going to take any risks with his recent ACL tear. He’s not giving up on getting his belt back, but he sees no reason to rush the rehab process.
“My goal is to try to be back by the end of the year. That’s my goal. I’ve already had my title stripped. I’ve already been dropped out of the rankings. What do I need to rush for is the way I’m thinking right now. Every thing that I’ve earned has already been taken from me,” Cruz said in a recent interview with Inside MMA.
“I want to go out, into this next fight, very healthy, and I definitely want to fight for the title. I don’t care who has it. I believe I’m the best in the world. I believe I never lost that position. The only thing that we’re waiting for is for me to come back and earn it.”
The bantamweight belt currently rests around the waist of TJ Dillashaw, who puts it on the line against Renan Barao in Saturday’s UFC on FOX 16 main event in Chicago.