This weekend, UFC bantamweights Renan Barao and Michael McDonald will meet in the main event at UFC on Fuel 7 with the winner exiting as the division’s interim king. While the fight is sure to produce fireworks and both men are deserving competitors, the moment lacks the same gravity as it would with the presence of linear champion Dominick Cruz. Unfortunately, Cruz has been sidelined since late 2011 with a series of injuries as well as time off to tape the Ultimate Fighter 15.
Cruz is currently in the process of rehabbing the second of two consecutive ACL tears with the latter occurring in December while he was healing up from the first. UFC President Dana White was recently asked about Cruz’s future and, though “The Dominator” is likely to be out for nearly two years by the time he sees action again, the company’s chief executive made it clear Cruz will return with his title-reign intact.
“If he starts training again and gets another injury that’s going to take him out for a year – and I hate to even say this about the kid since he’s a really good kid – but he should seriously probably look at retiring. But I’m not taking something like (the title) from somebody,” said White to MMAJunkie. “The way that it works in the fight business is you beat the man who beat the man. Obviously, though, if he had to retire, then (the interim titleholder) would automatically become the champion.”
“We expect him to come back. Everything is going as well as can be expected, and hopefully he comes back soon. But that’s really all I can say,” White concluded.
The 27-year old Cruz holds an overall record of 19-1 with his only loss coming to Urijah Faber as a featherweight. He’s won ten in a row since the stumble including success over Faber, Scott Jorgensen, Ian McCall, Joseph Benavidez, and Demetrious Johnson.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC