After months of uncertainty and injury replacements, UFC 149 is finally here. Headlining the UFC’s return to Canada is a meeting between Urijah Faber and Renan Barao for the interim bantamweight title.
Barring any unforeseen setbacks during his recovery from ACL surgery, Dominick Cruz will face the winner of this interim title match up to unify the bantamweight strap.
In case you missed it, Cruz dropped by Pro MMA Now Radio on Thursday night to discuss his post-surgery rehabilitation and give his thoughts on this weekends fight card, in particular the interim title matchup and what it means for his return to the Octagon. While Cruz insists his number one focus right now is his knee, it doesn’t sound like the bantamweight champ would shy away from the opportunity to reclaim sole possession of his title from one particular longtime rival:
Cruz on the road to recovery:
“It’s a slow process in the recovery just because you have to limit your movement […] I had a partially torn MCL and a completely torn ACL, so it’s a slow recovery.”
“I’m about six weeks out of surgery, and, actually like I said I’m ahead of schedule and feeling great, so I’m very optimistic at this point.”
Cruz on Urijah Faber and Renan Barao’s interim title fight:
“There’s got to be something going on while my knee’s healing, so I understand that. But, everybody knows, including me, that it’s not the real belt. I’m the champion; I’m still the champion. Yes, I’m hurt; this happens in sports all the time […] having the interim, it is what it is. Basically it’s a glorified number one contender spot, and when I get back and healed up I’ll be looking to fight. But right now my full focus is on my knee”
“The way I look at it, I’m gonna be fighting these guys, either one of them, within the next two or three fights in any case scenario […] this is a tough fight to choose, you kind of just got to see who comes out with the better game plan and who sticks to it. But, to be honest it’s no secret that I would love to punch Faber.”
For more from the champion, you can check out the full interview here, and don’t forget to tune in to Pro MMA Now Radio Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET for the latest in MMA news, fighter interviews, and expert opinion. You can also listen in on the go with the new ProMMANow.com Android App, available in the Google Play store on your Android Smartphone.