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Coach says Dominick Cruz could be ready for August return

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Dominick Cruz may be ready to return to the cage by Aug. 30. (Special to Yahoo Sports)

According to a UFC Tonight report, former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz is looking to make his Octagon return in September, but could possibly be ready for a fight as early as August 30 at UFC 177. The report's source was Cruz' coach Eric del Fierro, who said that the team is eyeing a fight with highly-ranked Takeya Mizugaki, who has won five straight bouts.

Cruz has not fought since October of 2011, when he successfully defended his belt over Demetrious Johnson. Cruz tore an ACL twice and underwent multiple surgeries to repair his knee.

Cruz was set to face Renan Barao in a unification bout at UFC 169 when he tore his quadriceps and pulled out a month before the fight was scheduled. Now, the unlucky Cruz hopes to get back into action by the fall, though it won't be an immediate title shot.

However, Mizugaki himself recently underwent a major surgery, where doctors detached an ear of his in order to clean out an infection in his ear canal. The Japanese fighter is reported to be looking at a late September return, at the earliest.

Who would you like to see Cruz face when he comes back? Let us know in the comments section.

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

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