Cruz (19-1) has not fought since October 2011 due to multiple knee surgeries that have kept him on the sidelines, but a return to the Octagon isn't far off and "The Dominator" is looking forward to a championship unification bout with Barao, who is fresh off a submission win over Michael McDonald in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 7.
Barao (30-1, 1 NC) pushed his undefeated streak to 31 when he tapped out McDonald in London, and Cruz was watching closely as an analyst for the FUEL TV broadcast.
Just moments after Barao's victory, Cruz weighed in on the Brazilian's performance on the UFC on FUEL TV 7 post-fight show and didn't seem overly impressed judging by his analysis.
"Nothing really concerns me [about Renan Barao].... I fight different than everyone else. I'm not going to just stand in front of you, I'm not going to look to counter you -- I'm going to mix things up. On top of that, you take away range with angles. That beats range everyday of the week. And I can wrestle -- I'm going to wrestle this guy. I'm not just going to stand in front of him and strike all the time. I'm going to mix it up, keep him guessing. Feints ruin the entire game of Barao in my opinion. And you take away the range by taking away the jab. Those are all things I understand and I'm going to break this down in my head when I have to fight Barao. He's going to be confused when he gets in there and tries looking for me."
While most fighters are high on themselves, Cruz seems particularly confident in how his skills stack up against Barao and believes he is superior in essentially every area.
While the date of Cruz's return is unknown at this time, the 27-year-old believes he is capable of exposing the holes in Barao's game and is the man to end the 31-fight unbeaten streak possessed by the Brazil.
Can Cruz be the one to defeat? Even coming off what will likely be a two-year long layoff? He seems to think so.
What do you think?
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