Dominick Cruz lost his UFC bantamweight title outside of the cage and, though he expects to return to action this year after over two years of repeated serious injuries, "The Dominator" says that he won't demand a shot at the title he once held.
"I never chose my fights in any part of my career, and even when I was going for the title fights [at UFC 169], that was because I was a titleholder," Cruz told Shaun Al-Shatti in a recent interview.
"I felt that, being a titleholder, why would I ever, ever take a step back and not fight for the title? Even if, let's say I was to go in there and just get mopped up [against Barao], that was the place that I was in. That was where I deserved to be, that title shot. I don't believe I would've gotten mopped up and I believe, still, in my heart, that I'm the best 135-pounder in the world when I can get back to full health. But I've never chosen my fights, and I'm not going to start now."
UFC president Dana White recently said that Cruz would be granted an immediate title shot against whoever the champ is upon his return, should he ask for it, but also advised against it. Cruz, who is now recovering from a torn quad muscle in his leg, doesn't care who he gets to take on first.
"Whatever they give me, I'm going to do," he said.
"Things are going to fall into place. I'll be right back in the position as long as I deserve it, and I'll work my way through however I need to. I'm not stressing about it because my first love is fighting, and if I need to fight, I don't care who I gotta fight. I just can't wait to get back in there, to be honest."
Who do you think would be an appropriate first fight back for Cruz? Let us know in the comments section!