Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has been through a bit of a rough ride in the last two years, inclusive of multiple injuries resulting in ‘The Dominator’ vacating his long-held 135-pound title, and being replaced at the top of the division by Renan Barao. It’s fair to say that Cruz has had a fair chunk of bad luck.
In a recent interview with MMAFighting.com, Cruz discussed the groin injury that eventually topped off his two year lay-off, and forced him to step away from the belt:
"It was stated that it was a groin injury because it it's a confusing injury," Cruz explained. "The quad tore off in the groin area. The quad tore off, basically right by my groin, off my pelvis. So it's like a groin injury, but not. It was just real nasty, man. It wasn't fun. I was basically at 50-percent of what I could've been. I had one leg, couldn't explode off of it, my leg would give out, because you know, you had no quad connected, so you lose a lot there.”
Cruz’s unfortunate sequence of injuries comes in the midst of numerous other high profile knocks, including former middleweight champion Anderson Silva’s leg break, and Cain Velasquez serving an extended lay-off for a shoulder surgery. Now back in training, Cruz opines on who he should face upon his eventual return:
"I never chose my fights in any part of my career, and even when I was going for the title fights (at UFC 169), that was because I was a titleholder," Cruz said. "I felt that, being a titleholder, why would I ever, ever take a step back and not fight for the title? Even if, let's say I was to go in there and just get mopped up (against Barao), that was the place that I was in. Whatever they give me, I'm going to do. Things are going to fall into place. I'll be right back in the position as long as I deserve it, and I'll work my way through however I need to. I'm not stressing about it because my first love is fighting, and if I need to fight, I don't care who I gotta fight. I just can't wait to get back in there, to be honest."
Say what you like about Dominick Cruz, but you can’t knock his attitude. I hope he gets a shot at the title when he comes back, and the shallowness of the division right now may play in to Cruz’s hands. The new champ will make his first defense against T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 173, and a return from the former champion could give the division a much needed face lift.