By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Dominick Cruz last fought in October 2011 at UFC Live, where he successfully defended his UFC bantamweight championship for the second time. More than two years later, Cruz is preparing to get back in the ring for his third title defense, a unification bout against interim UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao.
From May, 2012 until the present, Dominick Cruz has had two surgeries on his ACL with two intensive recovery periods. He has only recently gotten back to training in preparation for his bout with Barao, which will take place in February at UFC 169.
But according to UFC President Dana White, that bout could have happened a little sooner.
“I shouldn’t say this, but I will, because this is what I fucking do to myself,” he told reporters on Thursday. “I think Cruz has kind of been stalling. I think Cruz has dragged this out longer than [it] needed to be.”
Of course, it makes sense. Cruz has not fought in two years, but prior to that he hadn’t lost a bout since 2007 with an impressive 10-fight winning streak that saw him win and defend both the WEC and UFC bantamweight championships.
Against Barao, he will be facing a man who hasn’t lost a fight in 8 years, an incredible 32 fights without a loss. He has fought 6-0 in the UFC against the division’s best.
“I don’t fucking blame him,” Dana White said. “Do you want to take two years off and then face Renan Barao?
“I think he’s working extra hard on working off the ring rust. Doing the things, that, this just came to our attention a few weeks ago, that Cruz possibly could have fought much sooner. Which makes the fight even more interesting.”
With both men preparing to face off in February, White is excited for what has the potential to be the fight of 2014.
“That’s a fight, man. Barao goes in and literally destroys people. Cruz has a style where he can pick you apart and make you look bad and win fights. I love that fight!”Tags: Dana White, Dominick Cruz, mma, MMA NEWS, renan barao, ufc, UFC 169, ufc news