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Thursday, 05/10/2012, 08:03 am

Cruz explains ACL Injury Denies Rousey Rumors

You may have heard that the UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominic Cruz is out of UFC 148 with a blown ACL.

Cruz was set to face rival Urijah Faber for the 135-pound strap on the same card as Sonnen vs Silva II in Las Vegas.

With the UFC scrambling to find Faber another opponent for July 7, and rumors of what might have caused the untimely injury, Cruz appeared on The MMA (after hour) to clear up the rumors, and shed some light on the situation.

How it happened:

“I was in training camp, I had just gotten done with TUF, (The Ultimate Fighter), and I usually get done about 11. I got to practice at 11:30, and I was sparring that day with kickboxing and takedowns, and a guy got behind me in a scramble, and he went for a trip, his hips went in on my knee and it just buckled my knee right then and there. I sat out the rest of the round, threw some ice on my knee, it was pretty painful. I was just kind of hoping for the best to be honest. I was hoping and praying that it was nothing crazy because it was a very, very loud pop. I kind of went into denial mode for the rest of that day saying ‘Oh, I’m fine, I’m fine.’ So I took some ibuprofen, and that night I went in to get my normal workout in, and I go to move around and get my shadowboxing going to warm up, and my knee just pops right out. And I just knew right then and there that I needed to go get an MRI and get this checked out because my knee wasn’t stable, and it kind of felt like I was walking on ice. I went in and got an MRI that day and got the bad results, the bad news.”

Cruz clears up the speculation that Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion and Olympic Judo Bronze medalist Ronda Rousey had something to do with the injury:

“Just to shut down some rumors that Faber thinks is funny to start, and makes jokes about an Olympic bronze medalist, and her taking out my knees. To me it’s not really funny, it’s just another way to know, for the world to know, why me and Faber don’t get along. I wasn’t training with her at all. I brought her in to help my team on TUF.”

Despite their bitter rivalry, Cruz feels he owes an apology to Faber for missing their fight:

“Well, you know, he did say that he doesn’t wish that injury on anybody, and I believe that. Nobody wants an injury like this to happen, and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody either. To be perfectly honest, I somewhat have to apologize, not just to my fans out there, but to Faber because of this situation taking place. It’s frustrating for him as well, so I can understand that. But at the same time, trying to make jokes about it, and starting rumors about Ronda Rousey, you know, busting my knees, that’s putting questions on her that are not necessary, and putting questions on me that are not necessary, with this injury that’s already enough. So he is being very Faber-esque in the situation.”

On a timeline of when he will be back:

“I want to be training back in four to six months, so that I can start to get back on the path of going in there and competing and winning.”

On Fuel TV’s “UFC Tonight”, Dana White announced that Faber will still be on the UFC 148 card, but will be facing an unnamed opponent for the bantamweight interim belt.

Cruz had this to say about his belt being “split”:

“It’s never a fun situation when your belt is being split, in a sense. That is never fun. But the good thing is that I know the truth, and so will anybody that gets that interim belt, is that they haven’t fought the real champ, period. Basically, anyone who gets that belt is the number one contender, so that’s fine with me, it is what it is. I’ll be ready to fight in the future, and they will challenge me fight for the real belt.”

Faber will most likely face either Renan Barao, Michael McDonald or Ivan Menjivar for the interim title.

As with any ACL injury, Cruz is expected to be absent from the cage for a while.

But luckily for The Ultimate Fighter: Live, Cruz will finish out the season.

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