Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has been on the shelf seemingly forever with a bunch of injuries. The latest was a groin tear, and there's no word on when he's ready to return. Nonetheless, Cruz never lost his title in the octagon (it was stripped after he got hurt for a third time) and UFC president Dana White said at the UFC on Fox 11 post-fight media scrum that if Cruz wants to fight for the title against current champ Renan Barao when he comes back, he can. But it might not be the wisest idea:
"I, literally, have heard nothing from Dominick Cruz. I don't know what's going on with him. And I don't think after this much of a layoff it would be right to throw him in there for [a title shot], unless he wants it. He was the champ before all this stuff happened to him, and if he wanted to come right back and fight (Barao), then yeah, I'd do it. But Barao is one of those guys - man, I just think Barao is so nasty. I'd fight somebody else. If it was me, personally."
Barao (32-1, 1 NC) picked up an interim title with a win over Urijah Faber at UFC 149 and defended it twice more before he was supposed to fight for the unified title against Cruz at UFC 169. After Cruz pulled out of that bout, Barao was promoted to full champion and went onto defeat Faber for a second time. His next defense is scheduled for UFC 173 where he'll meet Faber's teammate T.J. Dillashaw.