Michael Chandler says former UFC champ Dominick Cruz back in the gym following groin injury

Ethan Miller

During a photo shoot for Bellator's newly-announced pay-per-view (PPV) card, former lightweight kingpin Michael Chandler updated the mixed martial arts (MMA) world on the progress Dominick Cruz is making toward his return to the Octagon.

Michael Chandler was in Los Angeles, Calif., earlier this week to take part in some promotional work for the freshly announced Bellator 120: "Alvarez vs. Chandler 3" pay-per-view (PPV) event, which has been booked for the Landers Center in Southaven, Miss., on May 17, 2014, and will also feature "Rampage" Jackson vs. "King Mo" Lawal.

He answered questions about his rematch against Eddie Alvarez after losing the title to the same man at Bellator 106 last November, but was also asked by our boys over at MMA Fighting about his teammate at Alliance MMA, Dominick Cruz.

Mainly, his progress in a seemingly endless recovery of injuries over the last two years that ultimately cost Cruz his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight title prior to a unification tilt with Renan Barao at UFC 169 in New Jersey.

While we've all heard this one before, the former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) champion is back in the gym, actively working toward his return to the Octagon.

"Dominick, he's a warrior. To be able to go through what he's gone through, a 28-year-old dude who has the whole world at his fingertips. MMA is the thing he's been doing for 10 years, and to have that taken away for two years, going on three years, and to have the belt taken away, to have to go through that mentally is something that's going to make him the better man."

But while there is little doubt that Cruz is all-in on rehabilitating the groin injury he suffered, its hard to believe someone can remain steadfast in his desire to start the process all over again. Something Chandler thinks will only make Cruz stronger.

"He's more motivated than he's ever been, because he wants to go out and prove that he should have held on to that bantamweight title. UFC was great with him, gave him a fair chance. Now he has the opportunity to hopefully get healthy, beat one or two guys and hopefully get a title shot."

Keep on truckin' Mr. Cruz, keep on truckin' ...

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