Dominick Cruz says he’s ready to return to the cage after recovering from injuy

Former UFC bantamweight kingpin Dominick Cruz provided a health update which makes the 135lbs division a whole lot more interesting.

During the media day ahead of UFC on FOX in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Cruz – alongside former UFC middleweight champ Michael Bisping – announced he is now free from an arm injury which forced him out of a fight against Jimmie Rivera late last year.

Cruz is back and he is looking to return to the cage very soon.

“I just got cleared by the doctor so I’m good to go,” said Cruz. [H/T MMA Fighting] “I’ll talk to [Sean] Shelby, I’ll talk to everybody. I’m on track though. So I will be going to fight. I’m going to fight before the end of the year is my goal so we’ll see what happens. I know T.J. Dillashaw and Cody are fighting and I should be having the winner of that.

“That’s what everybody wants to see so hopefully somebody gets some wits about them and gives me that fight right away. We’ll see what happens.”

Taking place next weekend on August 4th, UFC 227 is headlined by a bantamweight title fight pitting rivals TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt against each other for the second time. With this update, the spectre of Cruz will loom over the bout.

The UFC bantamweight title picture is a murky one thanks to Cruz – arguably the greatest fighter at 135lbs in MMA history – current champion Dillashaw and ex-title holder Garbrandt trading losses to one another.

Cruz defeated Dillashaw via split decision to win back his belt following a long injury layoff in 2016, before losing a unanimous decision – and his championship – in dominant fashion to Garbrandt at UFC 207 in December of that same year.

Having not fought for over a year and a half, Cruz is itching to fight the winner of Dillashaw – Garbrandt II. However, when the suggestion was made of fighting rising bantamweight Marlon Moraes, Cruz didn’t shy away from that bout either.

“Get ‘em to sign it, I’ll take that,” Cruz said.

The UFC bantamweight division has long been one of the promotion’s most enthralling, and the return of Cruz only adds to the intrigue as he makes another comeback from a long period sidelined by injury.

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes is an MMA writer who has covered the sport since 2013 for publications such as Vice Sports, Fightland, Sherdog and now Fighters Only, where he serves as freelance digital editor.