Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz at WEC 26 weigh-ins
Dominick Cruz has been dealing with a nagging hand injury that needs surgery to correct, but he’d put off the procedure to coach “The Ultimate Fighter.”
Prior to his WEC 53 title defense against Scott Jorgensen, Cruz told MMAWeekly.com, “I’ll probably be out for at least four to six months. The type of work they need to do to my hand, that’s what they told me, but I’m a quick recovery type of guy so I’m going to go ahead and say four months.”
“I work for the UFC basically now, the WEC before, and I pretty much do what I’m told. But at the same time, I’ve been going into these last two fights with a hand injury that needs to be addressed so that I can continue to fight at the level that I’m fighting because it’s just something that’s going to get worse if I don’t get it taken care of,” said the bantamweight titleholder during the WEC 53 post-fight press conference.
“I’ll know by Monday. I’m going to talk to my camp, talk to whoever I need to talk to at the UFC/WEC and get my hand checked out.”
With the WEC folding over into the UFC, opportunity comes with the transition for several WEC stars, and Cruz would be willing to put off surgery if the right situation presented itself, like coaching “The Ultimate Fighter.”
Speculation has swirled for weeks about who would be named the coaches of the next season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
Urijah Faber handed Cruz his only loss to date and he and the former WEC featherweight titleholder aren’t exactly friends. Asked if he’d accept a coaching position on the Spike TV reality show opposite Faber, Cruz said he would.
“I would accept it very much, and I’d be stoked, and it would be awesome because I’d get my loss back. With an opportunity like that I might have to deal with the hand again,” stated Cruz. “I’ll get my hand checked out and I’ll take it stride by stride, talk to my camp, coaches. They want what’s best for me, and I want what’s best for the longevity of my career as well.”
Faber submitted Cruz back in 2007 in a featherweight match-up at WEC 26 by guillotine choke, and the newly crowned UFC bantamweight champion believes they’re different fighters now and wants nothing more than to avenge that loss.
“It’s a different fight, completely. He was a better fighter than me that day, but it’s been three years, and that was my very first training camp I had with my coach Eric Del Fierro,” said Cruz.
“Before that fight I was still working a full-time job. Now I can devote every ounce of energy into fighting to become the best fighter that I can. I have weapons everywhere, and I just know I’m on another level than him.”
Faber recently dropped weight classes from featherweight to the 135-pound division and has called for a rematch with the current titleholder.
“He looked good in his last fight. He finished the guy very quickly. But still, he didn’t fight somebody that was at the super, top level at 135 at this particular moment,” said Cruz of Faber’s lone bantamweight performance.
“Some of the things that he’s going to improve on is just basically just trying to adjust to my game, and that will be hard for him because it’s hard to find people that move as much as I do. But there’s certain things that he can do, game plans that he can come up with. Good luck. I don’t know what, but I’ll be ready.”
UFC president Dana White said he’ll make a decision on Friday about the next season’s coaches. We know it’s not going to be Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva, so why not Cruz and Faber?