The former bantamweight champion might be returning to the cage this summer for the first time in almost three decades. It was reported that this week on UFC Tonight the Dominick Cruz, the former UFC bantamweight champion, is targeting a return to the Octagon at UFC 177, that is set to take place August 30 in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to Cruz’ head coach at Alliance MMA in San Diego, Eric Del Fierro, their camp wants Cruz to take on top competition Takeya Mizugaki in his comeback game. With a win over Mizugaki, Cruz would put himself close to getting another crack in the belt in 135lbs. Cruz has not fought since October 2011, when he conquered present UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson via five-round unanimous decision in a tactical event. Total Cruz defended the UFC/WEC bantamweight title four times between 2010 and 2011 before suffering a major knee injury in 2012 which has kept him out of the cage for more than two decades now. But it should be noted that he currently has one of the longest winning streaks of any fighter in the division with 10-straight victories over the likes of Urijah Faber, Brian Bowles, Joseph Benavidez, Scott Jorgensen, Ian McCall, as well as the above Johnson. Despite missing so long, the UFC allow him hold onto his belt till this past year, when enough was enough and also the promotion stripped off the name from him and gave it into interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao. UFC president Dana White explained that Cruz would exude an immediate name shot upon his return into the cage, but with TJ Dillashaw bothering Barao and carrying the name this past May in UFC 173, it makes more sense for Cruz to combat someone else prior to getting another crack at the belt. A struggle between Cruz and Mizugaki would be excellent, and it might help ascertain where exactly”The Dominator” matches in the branch at the present time. At one point he had been considered one of the top five pound-for-pound fighters on earth, but after missing a long time with injury and with so much cage rust, it makes sense for him to fight somebody first before getting his title shot, and the matchup involving Mizugaki leaves a great deal of sense. Whether this fight goes does, Cruz would enter the struggle as a slight favorite but with this much time off and with Mizugaki on this a wonderful streak at the moment, there is no way it’s a gimme struggle by any means and there might surely be an upset brewing if Cruz isn’t anywhere close to what he used to look like.
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