MMA ODDS AND ENDS FOR FRIDAY: CRUZ RUMORED TO RETURN AT UFC 177

The former bantamweight champion could be returning to the cage that this summer for the first time in almost three decades. It was reported that this week on UFC Tonight that Dominick Cruz, the former UFC bantamweight champion, is targeting a return to the Octagon at UFC 177, which can be set to take place August 30 at Las Vegas, Nevada. According to Cruz’ head trainer at Alliance MMA in San Diego, Eric Del Fierro, their camp wants Cruz to shoot on top competition Takeya Mizugaki in his comeback match. With a triumph over Mizugaki, Cruz would place himself near getting another crack. Cruz hasn’t fought since October 2011, when he defeated present UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson via five-round unanimous decision in a strategic event. Overall Cruz defended the UFC/WEC bantamweight title four times between 2010 and 2011 before suffering a significant knee injury in 2012 which has kept him out of the cage for more than two years 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, and the aforementioned Johnson. Despite missing so much time, the UFC let him hold on his belt till last year, when enough was enough and also the advertising stripped the title from him and gave it to interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao. UFC president Dana White explained that Cruz would garner an immediate name shot on his return into the cage, but using TJ Dillashaw upsetting Barao and taking the name this past May in UFC 173, it makes more sense for Cruz to fight somebody else prior to getting another crack in the belt. A fight between Cruz and Mizugaki are outstanding, and it might help determine where exactly”The Dominator” fits in the branch at the current time. At one stage he was considered one of the best five pound-for-pound fighters on earth, but after missing a long time with harm and with so much cage rust, so it makes sense for him to fight someone first before getting his title shot, and the matchup between Mizugaki makes a great deal of sense. If this struggle goes , Cruz would enter the fight as a minor favorite but with so much time and with Mizugaki on this a nice series right now, 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 near what he was used to look like.
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