Back in December, in the co-main event of UFC 207, Dominick Cruz’s legendary bantamweight title run was cut short by an incredibly sharp Cody Garbrandt. Garbrandt was able to drop Cruz on multiple occasions, ultimately earning a sound, unanimous decision win for his efforts.
Though there was some brief talk of an immediate Garbrandt vs. Cruz rematch, those talks quickly quieted and we haven’t heard much from Cruz since then. According to his head coach at Alliance MMA, Eric Del Fierro, however, Cruz has been busy in the gym, growing and evolving as a fighter.
“Dominick is doing great and keeping busy,” Del Fierro told IBTimes UK. “He is more mature and has a better understanding of himself, which lets him train smarter. He is in peak form and his best is yet to come.”
Apparently, Cruz is also hungry for a fight with the winner of the next bantamweight title fight, which will see Garbrandt attempt to defend his title against an old teammate and former champion in TJ Dillashaw. The two rivals are scheduled to fight at UFC 213 this July 8.
“There is no timeline and nothing is set in stone,” Del Fierro explained. “Dominick wants to fight either guy, whoever holds the title. I think Cody will win, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens.”
Cruz’s loss to Garbrandt marked his first defeat since a 2007 loss to Urijah Faber, and just his second loss overall. Now 22-2 in sum, the former champ has defeated names like Ian McCall, Joseph Benavidez, Brian Bowles, Scott Jorgensen, Faber, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, Takeya Mizugaki, and Dillashaw. Injuries have been an unfortunate theme in the former champ’s career, famously sidelining him from 2011 to 2014, and then again from 2014 to 2016.
Do you think Dominick Cruz can reclaim UFC bantamweight gold from the Garbrandt / Dillashaw winner? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/21/2017.