Dominick Cruz has moved to head off rumours that Strikeforce women’s champion Ronda Rousey was responsible for the knee ligament injury which has cancelled his UFC 148 fight with rival TUF coach Urijah Faber.
Cruz brought Rousey into the TUF house recently so that his team could learn some of her Olympic medal-winning judo skills. But shortly afterwards his knee injury was announced - and Faber wasted no time in voicing his opinion that Rousey was to blame.
“Just to shut down some rumors that Faber thinks is funny to start and makes jokes about an Olympic bronze medallist and her taking out my knees - to me it's not really funny, it's just another way for the world to know why me and Faber don't get along,” Cruz fumed on The MMA Hour.
“I wasn't training with her at all. I brought her in to help my team on TUF.”
Cruz went on to clarify what actually happened. He says that the injury was incurred as part of his own training camp, away from the TUF house, ahead of his scheduled title defence against Faber.
“I got to practice at 11:30 and I was sparring that day with kickboxing and takedowns and a guy got behind me in a scramble and he went for a trip, the trip, his hips went in on my knee and it just buckled my knee right then and there. I sat out the rest of the round, threw some ice on my knee, it was pretty painful,” he says.
“I was just kind of hoping for the best to be honest. I was hoping and praying that it was nothing crazy because it was a very, very loud pop. I kind of went into denial mode for the rest of that day saying 'Oh, I'm fine, I'm fine.' So I took some ibuprofen and that night I went in to get my normal workout in and I go to move around and get my shadowboxing going to warm up and me knee just pops right out.”
Cruz is expected to be sidelined for up to six months while he waits for the knee to heal. In the meantime Faber is expected to be competing for a newly-created interim bantamweight championship at UFC 148, possibly against Brazilian dynamo Renan Barao.