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

The former bantamweight champion could be returning to the cage this summer for the first time in nearly 3 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, that is 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 contender Takeya Mizugaki in his comeback game. With a triumph over Mizugaki, Cruz would put himself really near getting another crack in the belt in 135lbs. Cruz has not fought since October 2011, when he defeated current UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson through five-round unanimous decision in a tactical affair. Overall Cruz defended the UFC/WEC bantamweight title four times between 2010 and 2011 before suffering a significant knee injury in 2012 that has kept him from the cage for over two years now. But it should be noted that he has among the greatest winning streaks of fighter in the division with 10-straight successes over the likes of Urijah Faber, Brian Bowles, Joseph Benavidez, Scott Jorgensen, Ian McCall, as well as the aforementioned Johnson. Despite missing so much time, the UFC let him hold onto his belt until this past year, when enough was enough and also the advertising stripped the name from him and gave it into interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao. UFC president Dana White said that Cruz would exude an immediate title shot upon his return to the cage, but using TJ Dillashaw bothering Barao and carrying the name this past May at UFC 173, it makes more sense for Cruz to fight someone else prior to getting another crack in the belt. A struggle between Cruz and Mizugaki would be excellent, and it would help ascertain where precisely”The Dominator” fits in the branch at the current time. At one stage he was considered one of the top five pound-for-pound fighters on earth, but after missing so much time with harm and having so much cage rust, it is logical for him to struggle someone first before obtaining his title shot, and the matchup between Mizugaki makes a whole lot of sense. If this struggle goes , Cruz would put in the struggle as a minor favorite but with so much time and with Mizugaki on such a nice series at the moment, there’s no way it’s a gimme struggle by any means and there could certainly be an upset brewing if Cruz is not anywhere near what he was used to look like.
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