Dominick Cruz could be returning to the Octagon in a few months. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Dominick Cruz’s extended hiatus could finally be reaching its end.
Eric Del Fierro, Cruz’s manager and trainer, informed UFC Tonight that the former 135-pound king could be ready to return to action by late August or early September. While nothing is set in stone at this point, it was reported that Cruz is interested in facing surging bantamweight contender Takeya Mizugaki in what would be his first fight in nearly three years. However, Mizugaki's return hinges on his recovery from ear surgery, as the Japanese standout recently went under the knife due to an infection, according to UFC Tonight.
“The Dominator” was scheduled to face Renan Barao in a title unification bout at UFC 169 in February, but a groin tear forced him to pull out of the matchup and vacate his crown.
Cruz last stepped into the Octagon on Oct. 1, 2011, when he captured a five-round verdict over Demetrious Johnson at UFC on Fox 6. Before the groin tear, a torn ACL, two separate surgeries and a long rehabilitation process would keep the Alliance MMA product on the shelf for more than two years.
Cruz is unbeaten in his last nine UFC and WEC appearances, earning notable victories over Ian McCall, Joseph Benavidez (twice), Urijah Faber, Scott Jorgensen and Brian Bowles during that time.