The much anticipated trilogy match between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and bitter rival Urijah Faber, which was set to go down at UFC 148 on July 7, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada, will have to wait for another time because of the news that "The Dominator" blew out his anterior crucial ligament ( ACL) during training.
The devastating news broke a couple of days ago, leaving UFC officials without a much anticipated co-main event for the stacked Fourth of July weekend event that features a main event between Middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva taking on Chael Sonnen.
Rumors ran rampant that current Strikeforce women's Bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, was the one responsible for the accident that led to Cruz's injury; however, appearing on The MMA (After) Hour, Cruz revealed that those "jokes" are false. In addition, he goes into detail as to exactly what happened that caused to the injury.
Check it out:
"I was in training camp, I had just gotten done with TUF, (The Ultimate Fighter), and I usually get done about 11. I got to practice at 11:30 and I was sparring that day with kickboxing and takedowns and a guy got behind me in a scramble and he went for a trip, the trip, his hips went in on my knee and it just buckled my knee right then and there. I sat out the rest of the round, threw some ice on my knee, it was pretty painful. I was just kind of hoping for the best to be honest. I was hoping and praying that it was nothing crazy because it was a very, very loud pop. I kind of went into denial mode for the rest of that day saying 'Oh, I'm fine, I'm fine.' So I took some ibuprofen and that night I went in to get my normal workout in and I go to move around and get my shadowboxing going to warm up and me knee just pops right out. And I just knew right then and there that I needed to go get an MRI and get this checked out because me knee wasn't stable and it kind of felt like I was walking on ice. I went in and got an MRI that day and got the bad results, the bad news."
Cruz also goes on to squash any speculations that former Olympic Judo Bronze medalist, Ronda Rousey was the cause of the injury:
"Just to shut down some rumors that Faber thinks is funny to start and makes jokes about an Olympic bronze medalists and her taking out me knees. To me it's not really funny, it's just another way to know, for the world to know why me and Faber don't get along. I wasn't training with her at all. I brought her in to help my team on TUF."
Despite their disdain for one another, Cruz feels he owes "The California Kid" an apology:
"Well, you know, he did say that he doesn't wish that injury on anybody, and I believe that. Nobody wants an injury like this to happen and I wouldn't wish it on anybody either. To be perfectly honest, I somewhat have to apologize, not just to my fans out there, but to Faber because of this situation taking place. It's frustrating for him as well so I can understand that. But at the same time, trying to make jokes about it and starting rumors about Ronda Rousey you know, busting my knees, that's putting questions on her that are not necessary and putting questions on me that are not necessary, with this injury that's already enough. So he is being very Faber-esque in the situation."
Expecting a long road of rehab ahead of him, "The Dominator" has a rather ambitious time table for his return to training:
"I want to be training back in four to six months so that I can start to get back on the path of going in there and competing and winning."
On the most recent edition of "UFC Tonight" on FUEL TV, UFC President Dana White revealed that Faber will remain on the UFC 148 card and will indeed face a yet to be named opponent for the 135-pound interim title. Cruz, however, knows that he and the winner of that fight will know who the real champion is:
"It's never a fun situation when your belt is being split, in a sense. That is never fun. But the good thing is that I know the truth, and so will anybody that gets that interim belt, is that they haven't fought the real champ, period. Basically, anyone who gets that belt is the number one contender, so that's fine with me, it is what it is. I'll be ready to fight in the future and they will challenge me fight for the real belt."
Cruz, meanwhile, has no timetable for his surgery, but he can expect to be out for an extended period of time.
The good news is that despite the injury, Cruz is expected to finish out his duties coaching opposite Faber on TUF.