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Dominick Cruz undergoes successful ACL surgery, expects to be out at least nine months

The former bantamweight champion also breaks down all of the upcoming action in the busy 135-pound division.

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz, suffered another devastating setback after he tore his ACL in his right knee last December.

The injury came just three months after he made his successful return against Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 178 (full fight video) after a near three-year hiatus stemming from multiple injuries, including an ACL tear in his left knee.

After undergoing yet another successful surgery, "The Dominator" is prepping his body to go through another rehab process that could very well keep him on the sidelines until the end of the year.

Check out his comments during his recent guest spot on The MMA Hour:

"It went well, I've obviously done this more times than I'd like. I've become pretty used to the sequence of events that take place. Right now, I'm in a machine that kind of bends my leg and I get to move it 10 degrees each day. I'm on 80 degrees today, 90 degrees tomorrow then I go see the doctor on Thursday and then rehab starts. I'm right on track, surgery was very successful and I am absolutely optimistic... I am looking at probably nine months. A typical ACL surgery is six to nine months, minimum. I'm just going to say nine months, because that's what the doctors say. That can be later or a little bit sooner. There is no way that it will be faster than six months."

A confident Cruz says he can come back stronger than ever, as he will basically be fighting with two brand new knees.

Dominick also gave his prediction for the upcoming title fight between division kingpin T.J. Dillashaw and former champ, Renan Barao, which is set to headline UFC 186 on April 25, 2015 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada (details).

"I got to go with Dillashaw again. I like Barao, but after watching his last fight, watching Dillashaw, his self-confidence and mind is in a different place. I think Barao having that loss definitely shook him. Getting the last win, it really put some wind underneath his sails. It gave him a lot of confidence and let him know that he is as good as he was in his mind. But, it really comes down to Dillashaw, who went out there and beat him. The beating he took from Dillashaw like that, isn't easy to get your mind past. He got knocked out and beat down for four rounds before that. Plain and simple. That's not easy to accept. I think this is a big hurdle for Renan. But if Renan goes in there and beats a guy like Dillashaw after what he went through, he is going to be one of the hardest guys in the world to beat after a fight like this if he can beat Dillashaw. His confidence will be through the roof. If he stays around for awhile, then maybe he can face me next. I hope so (get next title shot). I am here looking positive. People are saying, 'how is he going to do it?' And I'm saying, 'Why can't I?' I cannot wait to get back. In the meantime, I'm going to make the best of my life, I am going to enjoy commentating, and I promise you that I will keep getting better, I am going to be in the gym. Don't think I'm not going to be in the gym."

Cruz also went on to predict that an "evolved and changed" Rafael Assuncao will get some revenge on Urijah Faber when the two meet in the UFC Fight Night 62 main event scheduled for March 21, 2015 inside Maracanazinho Gymnasium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


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