The former bantamweight champion could be returning to the cage that this summer for the first time in nearly three decades. It was reported this week on UFC Tonight the 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 in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to Cruz’ head trainer at Alliance MMA at San Diego, Eric Del Fierro, their camp wants Cruz to take on top contender Takeya Mizugaki in his comeback match. With a win over Mizugaki, Cruz would put himself close to getting another crack in the belt at 135lbs. Cruz has not fought since October 2011, when he defeated current UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson via five-round unanimous decision in a tactical event. Overall 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. However, it ought to be noted that he currently has among the longest winning streaks of fighter in the branch with 10-straight successes over the likes of Urijah Faber, Brian Bowles, Joseph Benavidez, Scott Jorgensen, Ian McCall, as well as the above Johnson. Despite lost so long, the UFC let him hold on his belt till this past year, when enough was enough and the advertising stripped the title from him and gave it to 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 upsetting Barao and taking the title this past May in UFC 173, it makes more sense for Cruz to combat someone else prior to getting another crack in the belt. A struggle between Cruz and Mizugaki would be outstanding, and it would help ascertain where precisely”The Dominator” matches in the branch at the current moment. At one stage he had been considered one of the top five pound-for-pound fighters on earth, but after missing a long time with harm and with so much cage rust, it is logical for him to struggle somebody first before getting his title shot, and the matchup between Mizugaki makes a whole lot of sense. Whether this fight goes does, Cruz would put in the fight as a slight favorite but with so much time 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 certainly be an upset brewing if Cruz is not anywhere close to what he used to seem like.
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