With a timetable for his return still in question, UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz spoke to MMA Fight Corner on Friday afternoon about the ordeal he’s been going through being out as long as he has. He also gave a projection of when he could return and added that he’s meeting with UFC President Dana White and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta next week to talk about where he stands.
“The hardest thing about this right now is dealing with this injury because I want to be in there fighting, but I can’t. And if I come back too early, then I have the possibility of tearing more than just my ACL in my knee, I could tear everything because the ACL is the basis of the strength of all the tendons in my knee. That being said, I’m about, I’d say, there’s actually no way to put a month on it because I have to talk to Dana. And I sit and meet with Dana this week.
“After I meet with Dana and talk to him we can come up with a timetable and a timeline that I’m on. The doctor’s giving me at least 4 months before I can even begin to start grappling. I’m 2 months out from being able to start hitting pads and boxing heavy. So 2 months to boxing, 4 months to grappling and then I can’t put all of it together for another 2 months after that. And then I gotta sit and talk to Dana and Lorenzo and figure out what they want to do with me,” Cruz said. “There’s a lot of variables to the equation that need to be summed up. But, there is going to be a timetable out soon.”
Recently the question has been brought up of whether or not “The Dominator” should be stripped of his bantamweight title being that he will have been out of the game for a total of two years by the time he’s expected to return. While Cruz was co-hosting on FUEL TV’s UFC Tonight, Cruz received unexpected support from his arch nemesis, Urijah Faber who said on the show that he doesn’t believe Cruz should be stripped of his belt under any circumstances.
“That actually really, really, hit very hard to my heart more than I think any fighter can even know,” Cruz said of Faber’s support. “In the sense that it showed me how much a fighter actually understands the predicament that I’m in just by saying that. By Faber saying what he did about not taking my belt and all that, he knows that I’m in a position that sucks, and I hate, and I can’t do anything about, and I have no control.
“By him saying that it helped a lot because it just kind of helps get the point across that none of this is in my control. It’s not like I’m sitting here on my hands and enjoying myself not being able to fight. I’m making less of a living in the form that I’m living now than I would be if I was fighting. So of course I want to fight. On top of that, I love fighting. That’s my first choice, that’s my first career choice. That’s what I want to be doing.
“I think every fighter knows where I’m at in this position and I don’t think they envy me at all. They know that earned that title by beating some studs. I’ve fought some real good guys in the bantamweight division. I earned that title. So to take it away because of an injury when I was training to prepare for another fight, it’d be tough. But there is a business that has to be run that’s why I’ve got to sit down and talk with Dana and figure all this out. But, all I can do is know that everything’s out of my hands and keep working. That’s how I’m solving this problem is just to keep working. When I’m resting I’m working harder than anyone else and that’s a guarantee.”