The former bantamweight champion might be returning to the cage this summer for the first time in almost three decades. It was reported this week on UFC Tonight that Dominick Cruz, the former UFC bantamweight champion, is targeting a return to the Octagon at UFC 177, which is set to take place August 30 at Las Vegas, Nevada. According to Cruz’ head coach at Alliance MMA at San Diego, Eric Del Fierro, their camp needs Cruz to shoot on top contender Takeya Mizugaki in his comeback game. With a triumph over Mizugaki, Cruz would place himself very near getting another crack. Cruz has not fought since October 2011, when he conquered current UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson via five-round unanimous decision in a strategic event. Total Cruz defended the UFC/WEC bantamweight title four times between 2010 and 2011 before suffering a major knee injury in 2012 that has kept him out of the cage for more than two years now. But it ought to be noted that he has among the greatest winning streaks of fighter in the branch with 10-straight victories over the likes of Urijah Faber, Brian Bowles, Joseph Benavidez, Scott Jorgensen, Ian McCall, and the above Johnson. Despite lost so much time, the UFC allow him hold onto his belt till last year, when enough was enough and also the advertising stripped the name from him and gave it into interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao. UFC president Dana White said that Cruz would garner a direct title shot upon his return into the cage, but using TJ Dillashaw upsetting Barao and carrying the name this past May at UFC 173, it makes more sense for Cruz to combat somebody else before getting another crack at the belt. A fight between Cruz and Mizugaki are excellent, and it might help ascertain where exactly”The Dominator” fits in the division at the current moment. At one stage he had been considered one of the top five pound-for-pound fighters on earth, but after missing so much time with injury and having so much cage rust, it makes sense for him to struggle somebody first before obtaining his title shot, and the matchup involving Mizugaki makes a whole lot of sense. If this fight goes does, Cruz would put in the struggle as a slight favorite but with so much time and also with Mizugaki on such a nice streak right now, there is no way it’s a gimme struggle by any means and there might surely be an upset brewing if Cruz is not anywhere close to what he used to look like.
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