Dominick Cruz is once again the UFC Bantamweight Champion following a split decision win over T.J. Dillashaw at UFC Fight Night 81. However, the fight was just his second since October of 2011 due to injuries, and he left the cage Sunday night dealing with another.
Cruz said after the bout that he was dealing with a foot injury into the event, though he tried to downplay things on the Fox Sports 1 post-fight show.
“I have Plantar Fasciitis Tendonitis,” he revealed. “I didn’t want to talk about it. If people ask me, I’ve got to talk about it. It’s very painful. The leg kicks landed but weren’t hurting. I’ve been kicked in the legs for the last 12 weeks.”
UFC President Dana White talked about the latest injury on that same post-fight show, and said they’ll simply have to figure out what the extent of the damage is in order to move forward.
“He’s hurt. He’s prone to injury. I don’t know when it happened and how it happened, but that kid fought his ass off the whole fight. He has unbelievable head movement. I’m a true believer in ring rust and the two times that guy has come back from major injury and been out a long time, he shows no signs of ring rust ever. Let’s see what’s wrong with him and go from there.
“He’s a mentally strong guy. There’s been one case he’s lost millions of dollars by not being able to fight. I don’t know if I know anybody who’s been through more than Dominick Cruz.”
Penick’s Analysis: It’s certainly a crazy comeback story, because we haven’t seen anyone come back from that type of a layoff as effectively as he was able to compete Sunday night. That said, the injury concerns are real, and though he’s downplaying things there’s an issue if he’s going to miss another year or longer. Hopefully that’s not the case. Hopefully he can fight before the year is out, and hopefully he’s able to compete several more times over the next couple years. Still, there’s reason to be wary of that happening.
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