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

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The former bantamweight champion might be returning to the cage that this summer for the first time in almost three years. 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 take on top competition Takeya Mizugaki in his comeback game. With a triumph over Mizugaki, Cruz would put himself really near getting another crack. Cruz has not fought since October 2011, when he conquered current UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson through five-round unanimous decision in a strategic event. Overall Cruz defended the UFC/WEC bantamweight title four occasions 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. However, it should be noted that he 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, as well as the above Johnson. Despite lost so long, the UFC let him hold onto his belt till this past year, when enough was enough and the advertising stripped the title from him and gave it into interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao. UFC president Dana White said that Cruz would exude a direct name shot on his return into the cage, but with TJ Dillashaw upsetting Barao and taking the name this past May at UFC 173, it makes more sense for Cruz to fight somebody else prior to getting another crack at the belt. A struggle between Cruz and Mizugaki would be excellent, and it might help ascertain where precisely”The Dominator” fits in the branch at the present time. At one stage he was considered one of the top five pound-for-pound fighters on earth, but after missing a long time with injury and with so much cage rust, so it makes sense for him to struggle somebody first before getting his title shot, and the matchup involving Mizugaki leaves a whole lot of sense. If this struggle goes , Cruz would enter the fight as a slight favorite but with so much time and also with Mizugaki on such a nice streak right now, there’s no way it’s a gimme fight by any means and there could surely be an upset brewing if Cruz isn’t anywhere near what he used to seem like.
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