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Dominick Cruz had to retire in his own mind before he could come back

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One thousand, five hundred and sixty-nine days. It looks so much worse when spelled out. If all sticks according to plan, and T.J. Dillashaw at last gets the opponent he deserves on Jan. 17 at UFC Fight Night 81, that’s how long Dominick Cruz will have waited between brushes with gold. One thousand, five hundred and sixty-nine days of bad news, of announcements and postponements and Twitter updates that’ll break your damn heart all over again.

Cruz can admit now that there were times when he questioned, maybe not that this day would come, but whether he’d be intact enough to take advantage once it did. One ACL surgery led to another, then his quad muscle ripped clear off his pelvis. Then came the third ACL surgery, this time on his opposing leg, and for a moment it seemed like we really had seen the last of the man whose angles and footwork for so long confounded the division.

Of course Cruz never saw things that way, because that’s the kind of stubbornness champions need to succeed among the one-percent of the one-percent. But even he had to let go for a while, allow MMA to drift into the scenery as the game moved on without him.

“I just… I went through a place in my life where I just hung up the gloves, where I retired in my own brain. It didn’t mean it was my last fight, but I literally did have to say, ‘I’m done,'” Cruz told MMA Fighting.

“If you fight the injury, which you can’t control — you keep training, you keep doing things — then you’re not accepting the reality of what is. You can fight what is, but it’s always going to stay what is, 100-percent of the time. So it took me three surgeries, ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting