Dominick Cruz’s return to the Octagon is going to take longer than anticipated.
The UFC bantamweight champion underwent a second major knee surgery this past week, according to a Monday report from MMAJunkie.com. Cruz originally had surgery in June after tearing his ACL while training for a bout against fellow “Ultimate Fighter 15” coach Urijah Faber. However, Cruz’s body rejected the cadaver’s ACL he was given, and the ligament had to be replaced.
Estimates on the fighter’s recovery time are varied, but it is believed that Cruz could be sidelined anywhere from six to 12 months longer than originally expected. Cruz last competed on Oct. 1, 2011, defending his 135-pound belt with a unanimous decision over Demetrious Johnson at UFC Live 6.
Prior to his injury, Cruz’s third meeting with Faber was expected to take place at UFC 148. In the champion’s absence an interim title was created, which Renan “Barao” Pegado won by knocking off Faber in the UFC 149 headliner.
Pegado had previously expressed a desire to wait for a unification bout with Cruz, but now an interim title defense by the Brazilian -- potentially against Michael McDonald -- seems much more likely.