Former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz hasn’t been inside the Octagon in nearly three years. After tearing his ACL, Cruz underwent surgery, and was on his way to a return before re-tearing the same ACL, forcing Cruz out for even longer. The UFC stripped Cruz of his bantamweight title for inactivity after nearly two-years away from the sport.
Cruz was then set to make his return once again, but a torn groin muscle once against postponed his return.
Now Cruz is ready to go. He will return to the Octagon tomorrow night at UFC 178 to face Takeya Mizugaki in a pivotal bout for his career.
He spoke to MMAJunkie about the excitement that comes with his return, and even the excitement to cut weight.
“I enjoy thinking about the weight cut, thinking what I’m going to be going through for the next 10 days, mixing media, promoting a fight, (feeling) the nerves of a fight, losing 15-plus pounds and doing it all in the next 10 days without food and water,” he said. “That’s a heck of a challenge, and then doing it after a huge layoff. I haven’t made 136 pounds in three years, so the challenge is what I’m looking forward. It’s a new challenge to help the evolution of myself.”
“My goal is to let him eat as much damage as he wants to and not take any back. That’s the best way I can go about fighting a guy like him. I have to do my best to be in and out, use my speed as an advantage, use my transitions as an advantage, and just allow things to be effortless.”