Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz was briefly expected to make his return to the cage opposite John Lineker at the now-cancelled UFC 233 on January 26. Unfortunately, Cruz was sidelined with yet another unfortunate injury.
Speaking on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show this week, the former champion opened up on the severity of this injury and how he sustained it.
.@DominickCruz says that he threw a right hand during sparring & he felt his shoulder click then his fingers went numb. Stopped right away & went straight into an MRI. Tore two important tendons in his shoulder. #HelwaniShow @arielhelwani
— MMA On Point (@OnPointMMA) December 17, 2018
Shortly after news of this devastating injury broke, Dominick Cruz sent a heartfelt message to his would-be foe John Lineker.
“The deep respect I have for you as a human being outside of the octagon is one of the biggest reasons I was honored to have this fight with you,” Cruz wrote in a post on Instagram. “The opportunity would have been a great challenge for me next up in my career. I regret that I didn’t get the honor of competing against you on our set date.
“I appreciate you reaching out authentically from your heart with humility in your kind, powerful words. Thank you for teaching ME what it looks like to be a whole-hearted inspiring human that looks at the 100,000 foot view, eliminating the self-focus concern that includes only selfish needs and interests.
“This is a setback opportunity unfolding that will become part of my legacy.
“With nothing but respect for you, I wish you the best in your next matchup and look forward to watching you further compete.”
Dominick Cruz last fought in December of 2016, when he surrendered the UFC bantamweight title to Cody Garbrandt in one of the year’s biggest upsets. The former bantamweight champion is a fantastic 22-2 overall, with his lone losses coming to Garbrandt and Urijah Faber, the latter of whom he defeated twice thereafter.
Stay tuned for more updates on the recovery of Dominick Cruz as they emerge.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/17/2018.