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Dominick Cruz says he’s been cleared by doctor, aiming for 2018 return

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CALGARY, Alberta — Dominick Cruz’s latest health update is a positive one.

Cruz and fellow Fox Sports analyst Michael Bisping held court at a media event Thursday evening here at the Fairmont Palliser, and the former UFC bantamweight champion was asked if a possible matchup with top contender Marlon Moraes could be in store for him with the winner potentially facing the winner of next weekend’s UFC 227 main event between current bantamweight titleholder T.J. Dillashaw and rival Cody Garbrandt.

Both men have crossed paths with Cruz before in title fights, with Cruz defeating Dillashaw at a UFC Fight Night in Boston back in January 2016 and losing to Garbrandt 11 months later at UFC 207.

According to Cruz, he is recovered from an arm injury that forced him out of a fight with Jimmie Rivera last December (an injury that was exacerbated by his initially choosing to not undergo surgery) and hopes to face either Dillashaw or Garbrandt later this year.

“I don’t know, I just got cleared by the doctor so I’m good to go,” said Cruz. “I’ll talk to (UFC matchmaker Sean) Shelby, I’ll talk to everybody. I’m on track though. So I will be going to fight. I’m going to fight before the end of the year is my goal so we’ll see what happens. … I know T.J. Dillashaw and Cody are fighting and I should be having the winner of that.

“That’s what everybody wants to see so hopefully somebody gets some wits about them and gives me that fight right away. We’ll see what happens.”

Should Cruz have to take on another contender before getting a title shot, it would be just his second non-championship fight since August 2009.

Cruz made it clear that he has no target date in mind for what will be his first fight since December 2016, but didn’t shy away from possibly fighting at a Dec. 8 pay-per-view in Toronto when the show was suggested to him.

“Get ‘em to sign it, I’ll take that,” Cruz said.


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