Finally, on February 1st at UFC 169, bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz will throw down with interim title holder Renan Barao, in what should be a ridiculously compelling and entertaining fight. While the abilities of each man is a big reason why, another is because it will mark the first time Cruz has fought since October, 2011. If you’re thinking of tweeting the renowned fighter any more questions about what he’s endured the last couple of years, however, you might want to hold off.
While speaking to MMA Mania Thursday in New York City, Cruz relayed he’s a little sick of questions about whether he’ll be the same “Dominator” come February 1st.
“I’m just fed up with the questions about the time off, because it’s like, at what point do you think about what I did before I got hurt?” said Cruz, who has underwent two knee surgeries since he defeated Demetrious Johnson at UFC Live 6. “What did I do before I got hurt? Nobody talks about that. I went on a how many fight winning streak? I cleaned out the division, and the standings are still exactly the same as they were when I left two years ago. How come that isn’t being talked about? Only me being out two years is talked about.”
It’s not surprising to hear Cruz’s frustration, but MMA is a sport where what happened two weeks ago, let alone years, often gets glossed over. In addition, Barao’s impressive run as interim champ is also a big reason why some fans need a reminder of Cruz’s accomplishments.
“I’ve challenged myself to the fullest now,” added Cruz, who is currently riding a ten fight win streak . “I’m not even thinking about my knee anymore. You have to believe is the thing. A 100 percent of coming back from an injury like this is mental, because your mind moves your body. If you control your mind, your body will move for you.”
Not only is that a big fight, but UFC 169 will also feature featherweight champion Jose Aldo taking on Ricardo Lamas. The event will go down at Newark’s Prudential Center.