Dominick Cruz is healthy and ready to return to action and win back the title he never lost. The former bantamweight champion will face current 135-pound titleholder T.J. Dillashaw on January 17 at UFC Fight Night 81 in Boston. UFC president Dana White made the announcement on Wednesday’s edition of UFC Tonight.
Dillashaw (12-2) captured the bantamweight crown by defeating former champion Renan Barao at UFC 173 in May 2014. He’s defended the title twice, beating Joe Soto by knockout and finishing Barao in a rematch in July.
Cruz (20-1) won the WEC bantamweight title in 2010 and later became the first UFC bantamweight champion when the two fight promotions merged. He defended the belt twice with wins over Urijah Faber and Demetrious Johnson before being stripped of the title due to multiple knee injuries that kept him out of competition. He returned in September 2014 after being sidelined for three years and defeated Takeya Mizugaki in 61-seconds. He’s been out of action since due to another knee injury.
UFC Fight Night 81: Dillashaw vs. Cruz will air on Fox Sports 1 from a yet to be named venue.