Dominick Cruz is back.
After spending almost two years on the sidelines, the former WEC and UFC bantamweight champion will return to the Octagon against knockout artist John Lineker at UFC 233.
Brazilian MMA outlet Combate first reported the bout last month, and the UFC confirmed the matchup on Wednesday.
Cruz, who is widely considered one of, if not the, best bantamweight fighter of all time, hasn’t fought since his championship loss to Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207. ‘The Dominator’ was expected to return against Jimmie Rivera last December but was forced to pull out of the bout after suffering a broken arm.
His opponent, Lineker, is on a two-fight win streak and has only lost to divisional champion T.J. Dillashaw in the last four years. ‘Hands of Stone’ last fought at UFC 224, where he knocked out Brian Kelleher in the third round. The Brazilian is currently ranked at #6 in the official UFC bantamweight rankings.
UFC 233, which will feature Cruz vs. Lineker on the main card, is scheduled to take place next year, January 26 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California.