Dominick Cruz shares timeframe for Octagon return, discusses potential opponents

Dominick Cruz

Dominick Cruz has not fought since December of 2016, when he lost a decision to Cody Garbrandt and surrendered the UFC bantamweight title in the process. He’s hoping that will change soon.

On Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Cruz explained that he’ll see a doctor on Thursday, and that, with a little luck, he will be cleared to get back to work soon.

“I go see the doctor on Thursday,” he said (transcribed by Matthew Duffy for MMANews.com). I should get cleared, and then we’ll have a good case for myself to get back in there as soon as possible. I’m trying to get back in there before the end of the year.”

When it comes to possible opponents for his Octagon return, Cruz would be happy with anyone in the bantamweight top-5 — though surging contender Marlon Moraes seems to be a particularly compelling option.

“I like anybody in the top-5 right now,” he said. “After the amount of time that I’ve been out, I just want to come back [and] face somebody in the top-5, get a win going and then I want to fight for the belt. That’s kind of what needs to happen. I’m in line, right there. Both [potential] belt-holders [Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw] understand that if they want a fight that’s going to bring eyes to the television… It’s going to be a fight against me in the 135-pound division.”

“I think that Moraes is up there. I think there’s a couple guys… It’s just a matter of when the doctor clears me and when I’m ready to fight. I’m trying to be back before the end of the year… I haven’t been cleared by the doctor, so I’m trying to just listen to the doctor on this one so I don’t postpone my comeback.”

Who do you want to see Dominick Cruz fight in his return to the cage?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/13/2018.