Dominick Cruz suffered yet another setback after he tore the ACL in his right knee during a recent training session. The injury comes just a few months after "The Dominator" made his long-awaited return from almost a three-year hiatus due to multiple injuries and complications from surgeries.
A return that saw the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight champion blitz through Takeya Mizugaki in a little over a minute (see it).
Still, if you think Cruz is contemplating retirement after his latest injury, you're highly mistaken. That's because Dominick believes he can -- and will -- come back stronger than ever.
His words during a recent conference call (via MMA Fighting):
"Why can't I do it? Why can't I come back and be stronger than ever? There's no question I can do it, in my mind. I truly, truly believe after I get my right knee fixed, it'll be stronger than it was before. It's basically like getting two brand new knees. For me to retire, for me to think about stopping and to not put my head down and do the [physical therapy] is absolutely insane to me, because this is what I want to do. It's another mountain to climb. I'm fully capable of handling this mountain. I have all the tools, I have the age and I have the mindset to handle this."
Admitting he became a little depressed during his two-year hiatus after constant injuries, Cruz is adamant it won't happen again following his latest setback.
That's because when compared to millions of other people who are fighting irreversible diseases such as cancer, what he is gong through isn't so bad.
It's not easy, either.
"The path has been chosen for me. I can sit here and try to blame myself and say, 'How come everybody else can go through surgery with no problems?' Realistically, the way I get through this is I think about the people out there that have real problems. I still have a job, I'm still promoted by the UFC. I still have a job with FOX, I still can be in the gym and help these guys get better, I can still elevate the sport of mixed martial arts, which is my passion. I can still come back and fight and win. I'm not happy about this by any means, but it's also not going to drop me in a funk. I'm not going to allow it to stop me."
Cruz is expected to undergo surgery on Jan. 15, 2015 and will be sidelined for six to nine months. At the age of 29, health permitting, Cruz says he plans on continuing fighting for at least five more years.
Anyone think he can make it that long?