Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz is targeting a comeback in 2020 and wants a date with Henry Cejudo.
Cruz was last in action in December 2016 when he lost his 135-pound crown to Cody Garbrandt following a unanimous decision defeat at UFC 207. He later took time off to let his injuries heal and was scheduled to return against Jimmie Rivera in December of 2017.
However, he had to pull out due to a broken arm. Scheduled to return in December of 2018 against John Lineker, “The Dominator” had to pull out once again after tearing two ligaments in his right shoulder during sparring.
View this post on Instagram
@ufcjohnlineker , The deep respect I have for you as a human being outside of the octagon is one of the biggest reasons I was honored to have this fight with you. The opportunity would have been a great challenge for me next up in my career. I regret that I didn’t get the honor of competing against you on our set date. I appreciate you reaching out authentically from your heart with humility in your kind, powerful words. Thank you for teaching ME what it looks like to be a whole-hearted inspiring human that looks at the 100,000 foot view, eliminating the self-focus concern that includes only selfish needs and interests. This is a setback opportunity unfolding that will become part of my legacy. With nothing but respect for you, I wish you the best in your next matchup and look forward to watching you further compete.
A post shared by Dominick Cruz (@dominickcruz) on
That would keep Cruz out of action for another year in what has been a constant injury-riddled career.
Things are looking hopeful as of now, though.
Cruz is training and keeping fit in addition to his duties as an analyst and commentator. And with a positive outlook in mind, he hopes to return in the first half of 2020.
“Within the next six months,” Cruz said on a recent episode of Food Truck Diaries. “Yeah, I’m healthy this year — I will fight as long as everything stays in line like it has.
“I learned that a lot of what was stopping me has just been keeping focused on the now and not worrying about things you can’t control. … So just training and keeping my body strong and that’s it.”
Cruz will have no shortage of opponents once he eventually returns. He has been called out by a number of top bantamweight contenders, including the current champion Cejudo.
It would then, only make sense for him to fight the current 135-pound king and reclaim his throne.
“If all you guys are going to call me out, who I am going to call out out of all of you? Henry,” Cruz added. “He called me out. How are you going to be the champ and tell me you want to fight me and tell me nevermind?
“Let’s do this. I’m right here. I’m finally healthy, we both are coming off shoulder surgery. We’re both from Arizona, we were on the same national wrestling team. I know his style, I know everything about him, I know his background, I know how he grew up.”
Ever since capturing bantamweight gold, Cejudo has labeled himself as the GOAT of combat sports. But when it comes to divisional greatness, Cruz had a simple message for him.
“He’s the titleholder, he’s got an Olympic title and thinks he’s a 125-pound and 135-pound champion,” Cruz said. “That’s the guy to beat, and he wants to say that he’s the GOAT — you’ve got to beat me, bro. It’s plain simple, period.”