The former bantamweight champion might be returning to the cage that this summer for the first time in nearly 3 years. 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, that can be set to take place August 30 in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to Cruz’ head coach at Alliance MMA at San Diego, Eric Del Fierro, their camp wants Cruz to take on top contender Takeya Mizugaki in his comeback game. With a win over Mizugaki, Cruz would place himself very near getting another crack in the belt in 135lbs. Cruz hasn’t fought since October 2011, when he defeated present UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson through 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 major knee injury in 2012 that has kept him out of the cage for over two decades now. But it should be noted that he has one of the greatest winning streaks of any fighter in the branch with 10-straight victories over the likes of Urijah Faber, Brian Bowles, Joseph Benavidez, Scott Jorgensen, Ian McCall, as well as the above Johnson. Despite missing so long, the UFC allow him hold onto his belt until this past year, when enough was enough and the advertising stripped the title from him and gave it into interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao. UFC president Dana White said that Cruz would exude an immediate title shot on his return into the cage, but with TJ Dillashaw upsetting Barao and taking the name this past May at UFC 173, it makes more sense for Cruz to combat somebody else prior to getting another crack at the belt. A struggle between Cruz and Mizugaki are outstanding, and it might help ascertain where exactly”The Dominator” matches in the division at the present time. At one stage he had been considered one of the top five pound-for-pound fighters in the world, but after missing so much time with harm and having so much cage rust, so it is logical for him to struggle somebody first before obtaining his title shot, and the matchup involving Mizugaki leaves a whole lot of sense. Whether this fight goes , Cruz would enter the struggle as a slight favorite but with so much time off and also with Mizugaki on this a nice streak right now, there is no way it’s a gimme struggle by any means and there could surely be an upset brewing if Cruz isn’t anywhere near what he used to look like.
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