UFC president Dana White is hoping to have UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz back inside the Octagon in the early stages of 2014.
Next Saturday night, interim UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao will defend his title against Eddie Wineland at UFC 165.
White stated on a conference call Tuesday that he “certainly hopes” this is the final interim defense, adding, “we are expecting (Cruz to) return at the beginning of the year.”
It has been over several months since Cruz last fought, as two knee injuries have kept him on the sidelines.
“If he can’t return at the beginning, we are going to have to make a decision,” White stated. “He is very confident he will be ready to go at the beginning of (the new) year.”