The former bantamweight champion could be returning to the cage this summer for the first time in almost three decades. It was reported that this week on UFC Tonight the Dominick Cruz, the former UFC bantamweight champion, is targeting a return to the Octagon at UFC 177, that is set to take place August 30 in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to Cruz’ head coach at Alliance MMA in San Diego, Eric Del Fierro, their camp needs Cruz to take on top competition Takeya Mizugaki in his comeback game. With a win over Mizugaki, Cruz would place himself near getting another crack. Cruz has not fought since October 2011, when he defeated present UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson via five-round unanimous decision in a strategic event. Overall Cruz defended the UFC/WEC bantamweight title four occasions between 2010 and 2011 before suffering a significant knee injury in 2012 that has kept him out of the cage for over two years now. However, it should be noted that he has one of the longest winning streaks of any fighter in the division with 10-straight victories over the likes of Urijah Faber, Brian Bowles, Joseph Benavidez, Scott Jorgensen, Ian McCall, as well as the aforementioned Johnson. Despite lost so long, the UFC let him hold onto his belt until this past year, when enough was enough and the advertising stripped the name from him and gave it to interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao. UFC president Dana White explained that Cruz would garner an immediate title shot upon his return to the cage, but using TJ Dillashaw bothering Barao and taking the name this past May at UFC 173, it makes more sense for Cruz to fight someone else prior to getting another crack at the belt. A fight between Cruz and Mizugaki are excellent, and it would help determine where exactly”The Dominator” matches in the division at the present moment. At one point he had been considered one of the top five pound-for-pound fighters in the world, but after missing a long time with harm and having so much cage rust, it is logical for him to fight someone first before getting his title shot, and the matchup involving Mizugaki makes a great deal of sense. If this fight goes , Cruz would enter the struggle as a slight favorite but with so much time off and also with Mizugaki on such a wonderful streak right now, there is no way it’s a gimme struggle by any means and there could certainly be an upset brewing if Cruz is not anywhere close to what he was used to seem like.
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