Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz will find himself back on the sidelines for a lengthy period of time. Originally scheduled to face John Lineker, Cruz was forced to withdraw from the fight that was scheduled for UFC 233 in January due to a shoulder injury. While the fight was scheduled to take place at UFC 233 which has since been cancelled, John Lineker has not been given a new fight opponent or date as of this time.
During an interview on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, Cruz opened up about the injury and discussed the surgery timetable he is facing. Cruz said the injury and surgery will be treated like a torn ACL, and he’s likely to miss all of 2019.
According to Cruz, the injury happened during a sparring session where he felt a pop and tests later revealed that he torn two ligaments in his shoulder. Having struggled with injuries throughout his entire career, Cruz sounded adamant that he wouldn’t let injuries define him or his career.
When talking about how he would be remembered with injuries derailing his career, the former two-time champion told Helwani that his injuries won’t keep him out of the conversation as the greatest bantamweight fighter of all-time.
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) December 17, 2018
Cruz has not fought since he lost his title to former champion Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207 back in December of 2016. Originally scheduled to make his return against Jimmie Rivera in 2017, Cruz also had to withdraw from that fight due to injury.
Throughout his career, Cruz has gone through three ACL surgeries, a torn groin, the aforementioned broken arm, and now the shoulder surgery. Since 2014 Cruz has fought a total of four times with three of those fights happening in 2016 that included wins over Garbrandt and current champion T.J. Dillashaw.
In his interview, Cruz made it clear that this latest setback wouldn’t lead him into retirement, and he still plans to make a return to fighting.