UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has not fought in over a year due to multiple knee surgeries, and his return remains a ways off, at best. B/R's Damon Martin caught up with "The Dominator" to discuss his recovery.
Soon, Cruz will sit down in a meeting with UFC president Dana White to determine his next course of action. Everyone is curious if White will strip Cruz of his bantamweight title because his absence from the sport will likely reach past two years by the time he returns.
Cruz has no doubts that he is the true UFC bantamweight champion, and he has no desire to give up the belt he earned and defended on multiple occasions.
"I believe that's the way it should be which is me fighting the champion when I come back, which I will come back," said Cruz. "It's no question in my mind and anybody that's counting me out is crazy. Because I've been counted out before, I've been the guy that wasn't supposed to win several times, and I've always figured it out. It's who I am, it's how I do it, and I'm going to do it right.
"Let's be honest, Dana White is the business owner. He's the one that runs this entire organization and the second you start thinking you're calling the shots in a business that Dana White and the Fertitta's built, is when you have a rude awakening of you don't control it, they do. It's their business and I let them make the business decisions.
"In a perfect world, I keep my title and I come back and beat down Barao. In the business world, I don't know how Dana's visualizing this situation. I don't know what he's dealing with."
"I work for the UFC and I love everything that they've done for me, and that's about all I can say. I'm preparing to come back and fight for my title. That's all I can do, I can't make the decision. That's up to Dana. No doubt in my mind that I'm still the champion, I'm still the best in the world, and when I come back I will do just fine against a guy like Renan Barao."
"Everybody loves a comeback, especially a comeback in a situation that is not easy to return to."
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What do you think UG? Is Cruz still the champion? Is he still the champion if it takes over two years between fights?