He was emotional when talking about how he reacted when he found out he would be unable to fight for an even longer time than he thought. His last bout was an Oct. '11 win over current flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.
"The only way I can explain my emotions is to people out there who don't have to rely on their body for their money and their career is to say is the closest thing is when you've been dumped by the girlfriend you've been with for years and you love her, or something like that. Or if you lose a family member. I felt like I lost a family member."
Though the UFC has not talked about stripping him of the belt, he knows that the bantamweight division must keep moving in order to stay strong.
"It means everything to me to have [the belt], but I'm here to build the 135-lb. division. I have to look at myself as part of the bantamweight business. That being said, the bantamweight division has other fighters in it. It has to keep growing."
The interim belt, put in place to keep the division from being stagnant in Cruz's absence, will keep on keeping on. Interim champ Renan Barao will put his belt on the line against Michael McDonald in 2013. A date and place has not been set for the bout.
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