Former WEC and currentBantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz (19-1) was absent from combat sport for two years because of a serious knee injury (torn ACL) that required him to undergo surgeries to repair it.
Not too long ago, the UFC officially announced that Cruz is finally ready to step back inside the Octagon. His first opponent is a no-brainer, and it’s a championship unification bout with the Interim UFC Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao (31-1-1). Barao is a Brazilian mixed martial artist that holds one of the longest unbeaten streaks in MMA history and is also ranked the No.1 bantamweight in the world by a number of online media outlets.
On February 1st, at UFC 169, it won’t be an easy task for Cruz since he will have ring rust fighting against him, and Barao has proven in his fight with Urijah Faber that he can handle championship rounds without gassing out, just like Cruz before his injury. At least now we know that Barao was on his mind the entire time he was out, he also recently confirmed that’s the only fight he wanted when he got hurt:
That’s the fight I wanted since I hurt myself. That’s a fight I wanted before I hurt myself. He brings so much to the table, he’s done so much in the sport, he’s done so much for the division. That’s why I’m in this. I’m in this to challenge myself, not to go back to the No. 10 guy in the division and take a step back. If I was coming off no fights and they offered me the best guy on the planet, I’d take it. Because what’s the point of taking steps backwards in the sport?
Cruz vs. Barao is now scheduled as the main event for UFC 169 at The Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Aldo vs. Lamas has been officially moved to co-main event.
UFC 169 Main Card
Bantamweight – Dominick Cruz (c) vs. Renan Barão (ic)
Featherweight – José Aldo (c) vs. Ricardo Lamas
Heavyweight – Frank Mir vs.