Dominick Cruz was ready to return to the UFC after a long injury layoff, but was sidelined again, this time with a groin injury. The injury forced him out of his unification bout with Renan Barao, something which devastated the fighter according to his coach:
"This fight was no different. He was looking sharp. He was doing great. Even prior to taking the fight he was already sparring 100 percent and training 100 percent. Like I said, I can't put my finger on what actually caused this injury."
That, too, is likely small comfort for Cruz. Not only has he now lost his title, he's lost his ability to generate income and carve out a legacy as one of the sport's greats. Del Fierro said this latest injury has been crushing to him.
"Obviously it's devastating to him. All of us that follow the sport, his fans and guys involved in the sport know that all these guys all strive to be a champion in a division. When you lose the belt to an opponent, it's a different feeling. When you lose it to yourself, I can't put in words what he's feeling because I really don't know, but I know he's just devastated. He wanted to go in there and fight Barao and see who the best guy was. It's a huge setback for him. I think he's just analyzing himself, analyzing what's happening and why this happened.
"I can't imagine being in his shoes," Del Fierro lamented. "It's like someone telling you you're not going to work again for the next three months. This is your passion and this is what you love to do. It's gotta be devastating."
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