It appears UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao will in fact be defending his manufactured crown before reigning 135-pound king Dominick Cruz (Pictured) returns from injury.
Cruz initially went under the knife to repair the torn ACL in his left knee this past June. The 27-year-old was expected to be back in action in six to nine months. However, MMAJunkie confirmed Monday that Cruz recently had surgery on the same knee after suffering complications from his first procedure.
“The Dominator” will now be riding the pine for another six to 12 months.
“He’s pissed and disappointed,” Cruz’s trainer, Eric Del Fierro, told the website. “But I think he’s doing better now. Once he talked to the doctor and found out what was going on, he felt much better.”
Cruz hasn’t defended his throne since posting a unanimous decision win over Demetrious Johnson in October 2011. He had surgery on his broken left index finger in January and then went straight into his coaching duties on “The Ultimate Fighter: Live.”
He was slated to complete his trilogy with Urijah Faber at UFC 148 prior to blowing out his knee. Faber, who was coaching opposite Cruz in the reality show, then dropped a lopsided unanimous decision to Barao for the interim bantamweight crown on July 7th.
Barao was hoping his next fight would be a title unification bout against Cruz, but UFC president Dana White stated last month the blazing Brazilian would likely defend his belt before then. Now we know why.
Cruz owns a dominant 19-1 professional record. The lone blemish on his résumé came in a submission loss to Faber back in March of 2007.