Today is May 9, 2014. Dominick Cruz has not fought since October 1, 2011. Let that sink in for a moment here, that is a very long time for a UFC Champion to be on the shelf, especially while in his prime. That is the challenge that Dominick Cruz faces when he returns to the ring, just like he has to face that he won’t be the champion when he steps into the ring. It seems that Dominick Cruz understands this, though, and is willing to get his sea legs back before regaining his championship. [source]
“I never chose my fights in any part of my career, and even when I was going for the title fights (at UFC 169), that was because I was a titleholder,” Cruz said. “I felt that, being a titleholder, why would I ever, ever take a step back and not fight for the title? Even if, let’s say I was to go in there and just get mopped up (against Barao), that was the place that I was in. That was where I deserved to be, that title shot. I don’t believe I would’ve gotten mopped up and I believe, still, in my heart, that I’m the best 135-pounder in the world when I can get back to full health. But I’ve never chosen my fights, and I’m not going to start now.
“Whatever they give me, I’m going to do. Things are going to fall into place. I’ll be right back in the position as long as I deserve it, and I’ll work my way through however I need to. I’m not stressing about it because my first love is fighting, and if I need to fight, I don’t care who I gotta fight. I just can’t wait to get back in there, to be honest.”