Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz is set to make his long awaited return to the UFC tonight as the main-event of the preliminary card of UFC 178 against Takeya Mizugaki.
Ahead of the bout, he spoke to Ariel Helwani about his desire to reclaim the belt.
“The belt is just a piece of metal. I’ve still got it in my heart. I still consider myself one of the best on the planet. You have to believe that about yourself.”
“I defiantly think I’ve made some vast improvements because these injuries have forced me to focus on other aspects because I couldn’t hop around so much. I’ve really worked on my grappling, I’ve worked on these weird, unconventional things that you can’t really work on because you wouldn’t have seen it if you were 100-percent healthy.”
“If Muhammad Ali can do it, so can I.”
Cruz is referring to when Muhammad Ali was suspended from 1967-1970, after refusing to serve in the military after being drafted, citing his religious beliefs as his reason to not fight in the World War.
Ali then successfully returned to Boxing in October of 1970 to retain his ‘The Ring’ heavyweight title.