With recent announcement of interim title fight, Dominick Cruz trying to remain hopeful

Dominick Cruz hasn’t fought since he last defended his belt against current Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson at UFC on Versus 6 in Oct. 2011. That’s approximately a year and a half of sitting on the shelf in his prime unable to defend his title, and unable to do what he does best.

In recent interviews Cruz was hinting at the possibility of healing quickly and making a return sometime later in the year, setting his hopes high on being the next one to face reigning Bantamweight interim title champion Renan Barao. However since the recent announcement was made pitting Barao against Bantamweight contender Eddie Wineland as the main event of UFC 161, Cruz hasn’t exactly been to happy.

I can only imagine how depressing a consecutive string of injuries requiring this amount of time to heal, would make an athlete of Cruz’ caliber. Cruz recently spoke with MMAFighting.com via text message regarding his progress and the situation in general:

“I’m listening to my doctors and I’m not putting extra pressure on myself by giving any timeline because it’s not possible to do so as of now. Everything associated with recovery/rehab is on track 100 percent.”

“I’m out of the equation until I’m cleared by the doctor. Barao is the champion for now, and my belt/title defenses up to this point save me a spot to fight the interim champion when I am healed.”

“The UFC is a machine, and machines never stop. It’s out of my hands at this point.

“And yes, needless to say, this sucks for me.”

Hopefully we get to see this fight finally come to fruition by the end of 2013, because the fans and both champions have been waiting long enough.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Enjoylife321/ enjoylife321

    Gsp made a great return after knee rehab, so hopefully Cruz can make a similar comeback.
    Still undecided whether a fighter should retire their title due to injury…Injuries are beyond the control of a fighter but at the same time the rest of the division suffers also as a result waiting the same time cruz is out…..I guess there should be a time limit set….More than 12 months is nothing less than a major blow to the division.

    • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Rory-Kernaghan/ Rory Kernaghan

      It *****, but in a sport like MMA injuries are becoming more and more commonplace. I think if a guy refuses to defend his belt then he should be stripped of it, but an injury is a different story. I think GSP deserved to keep his belt. look at how he handled condit on his return!

    • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Rory-Kernaghan/ Rory Kernaghan

      its bad, but in a sport like MMA injuries are becoming more and more commonplace. I think if a guy refuses to defend his belt then he should be stripped of it, but an injury is a different story. I think GSP deserved to keep his belt. look at how he handled condit on his return!

      • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Bryan-Fontez/ Bryan Fontez

        I agree with you guys but there should be a rule in effect that only allows the champion a certain amount of time to keep the belt until he returns.

        In my opinion a champion should be stripped of his title if he's out longer than 2-3 interim fights. For example Barao has now faced Faber, McDonald and now Wineland.

        If Cruz isn't the NEXT guy, then he should be stripped of the title and the next time Barao fights should be for the Undisputed Bantamweight championship.

        I understand Cruz has earned it, but at this point, so has Barao. In fact if he beats Wineland, then by that point he would have defended the UFC Bantamweight title more times than the champion himself.

        In conclusion there comes a point when you have to give credit where it's do and the other guy just has to push the reset button. That's life. And if he is the best then he'll get his title back eventually anyway!

        • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Bryan-Fontez/ Bryan Fontez


    • http://lowkickmma.com/members/TheRealDeal/ TheRealDeal

      There needs to be a time limit…..

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/OperationCWAL/ OperationCWAL

    just strip him from the belt already!

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Mojo028/ Mojo028

    very well said Mr. Fontez, also does anyone remember how long Frank Mir was out when he got stripped of the belt?

    I believe it was about the same amount of time right?

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/TheRealDeal/ TheRealDeal

    Cruz should be stripped of the belt, plain and simple. Then, when he heals, he should get an immediate title shot. Barao is the champion. The UFC should set a hard and fast rule for champs being out and for how long before they lose their belt.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Evan-Holober/ Evan Holober

    IMO, this is exactly the situation an Interim Title is around for. Sometime interim title fights are made strictly for monetary value as the champion won't be gone for that long (which was actually the case with Faber-Barao in the first place), and they want to sell the #1 contender fight more (or in the past they just wanted it to go 5 rounds and that was the only way to get a non-title fight to do that). However, this is perfect. Dominick is the champion, and has defended that UFC/WEC belt 4 times. Barao is now the interim champion.

    If Dominick has another setback then we can talk about stripping him.