Although Dominick Cruz still considers himself the best bantamweight on the planet, he has no intention of asking for an immediate title shot upon his return to the UFC.
The former WEC and UFC bantamweight champion was scheduled to make his long awaited return to the promotion at UFC 169 in a title unification fight against then interim champ Renan Barao. It would later be announced that Cruz had injured his groin and vacated the title, which made Barao the undisputed champion. He would go on to defend his title against Urijah Faber at that same event.
Cruz explained that the groin injury was a surprisingly severe one, as the quad had torn off in the groin area, which brought him down to "50 percent."
"It was stated that it was a groin injury because it it's a confusing injury," Cruz told MMAFighting.com. "The quad tore off in the groin area. The quad tore off, basically right by my groin, off my pelvis. So it's like a groin injury, but not. It was just real nasty, man. It wasn't fun. I was basically at 50-percent of what I could've been. I had one leg, couldn't explode off of it, my leg would give out, because you know, you had no quad connected, so you lose a lot there.
"Unfortunately it was a bad enough injury that I had to pull out. I've had so many injuries all through my entire career that I've been able to fight with, and I don't know why, but lately I've just been getting these injuries that aren't feasible to fight with. They're literally mechanical problems and my body will not work."
Cruz has been away from the octagon since his last title defence, which was against Demetrious Johnson back in October, 2011. While he still believes he is the best bantamweight in the world, he has no intention of pressuring the UFC to give him an immediate title shot.
"I never chose my fights in any part of my career, and even when I was going for the title fights (at UFC 169), that was because I was a titleholder," Cruz said. "I felt that, being a titleholder, why would I ever, ever take a step back and not fight for the title? Even if, let's say I was to go in there and just get mopped up (against Barao), that was the place that I was in. That was where I deserved to be, that title shot. I don't believe I would've gotten mopped up and I believe, still, in my heart, that I'm the best 135-pounder in the world when I can get back to full health. But I've never chosen my fights, and I'm not going to start now.
"Whatever they give me, I'm going to do. Things are going to fall into place. I'll be right back in the position as long as I deserve it, and I'll work my way through however I need to. I'm not stressing about it because my first love is fighting, and if I need to fight, I don't care who I gotta fight. I just can't wait to get back in there, to be honest."