In a disappointing turn of events for UFC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, the fighter has reportedly underwent a second ACL surgery in a huge setback. According to MMAJunkie.com, his trainer Eric Del Fierro confirmed the news earlier today, who noted that Cruz was headed to Los Angeles, CA to meet with doctors in an effort to find the best course of action for a speedy return:
"He's pissed and disappointed. But I think he's doing better now. Once he talked to the doctor and found out what was going on, he felt much better."
Apparently, Cruz's body had rejected the ACL, which was taken from a cadaver. A new one has been transplanted, but the recovery process will have to start all over again.
The champ injured his knee initially while training for his TUF Finale bout with Urijah Faber. The two had a grudge match that generated a decent amount of heat. Instead, Renan Barao fought and beat Faber for the interim belt. Cruz has not fought since fall 2011, and was eying a return to the Octagon in early 2013. Now, that appears to be impossible, and 2013 could even be fading fast. A reported rehabilitation time of 6-9 months could see Cruz defending his belt in the fall of next year, but there will be the obvious huge question marks after two ACL surgeries and a two-year layoff.
Cruz was a highly effective fighter with supreme movement, so this is devastating news for an agile fighter. Hopefully his surgeons will take the best course of action to ensure he returns at a high level. In any case, though, the division will have to go on in some form, so does this open the door for no excuses to make a Renan Barao versus Michael McDonald bout for the interim strap?