UFC president Dana White has a soft spot in his heart for Dominick Cruz.
The UFC bantamweight champion hasn’t fought since a 2011 decision victory over Demetrious Johnson due to filming for The Ultimate Fighter and back-to-back knee surgeries.
Cruz appeared set to enter that upper-echelon of fighters after filming TUF: Live with Urijah Faber, as the two were set for the co-main event on the Chael Sonnen-Anderson Silva rematch card.
However, Cruz was forced to the sidelines and an interim title has since been created. In fact, Renan Barao, wearer of said title, is listed ahead of Cruz in most rankings.
“There’s no regret (in not stripping Cruz) because I like Dominick,” White said recently. “I’m not kidding you, (that co-main event spot) that’s a (expletive) lottery ticket. He might never have that opportunity to make that kind of money again.”
For Cruz, it’s more about just returning than money, as he became very defensive recently when asked about fighting again while working on FOX Sports 2 as an analyst.