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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 almost three years. It was reported 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 coach 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 place himself really near getting another crack at the belt in 135lbs. Cruz has not fought since October 2011, when he conquered present UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson through five-round unanimous decision in a strategic affair. Total Cruz defended the UFC/WEC bantamweight title four occasions 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 ought to be noted that he currently has one of the greatest winning streaks of any fighter in the division with 10-straight successes over the likes of Urijah Faber, Brian Bowles, Joseph Benavidez, Scott Jorgensen, Ian McCall, and the aforementioned Johnson. Despite lost so much time, the UFC allow him hold onto his belt till this past year, when enough was enough and also the promotion stripped off the title from him and gave it into interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao. UFC president Dana White explained that Cruz would garner an immediate name shot upon his return to the cage, but using TJ Dillashaw upsetting Barao and carrying the title this past May at UFC 173, it makes more sense for Cruz to combat somebody else prior to getting another crack in the belt. A struggle between Cruz and Mizugaki are excellent, and it would help determine where precisely”The Dominator” fits in the branch at the current moment. At one point he had been considered one of the best 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 somebody first before getting his title shot, and the matchup between Mizugaki makes a whole lot of sense. If this struggle goes does, Cruz would put in the fight as a slight favorite but with this much time off and with Mizugaki on such a nice streak at the moment, there is no way it’s a gimme struggle by any means and there could certainly be an upset brewing if Cruz isn’t anywhere close to what he was used to look like.
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