By Benjamin Bieker
By now everyone knows that Dominick Cruz has suffered a second ACL injury, and will be out of the fighting game for up to another year. Renan Barao will defend his interim title against Michael McDonald at an event sometime in 2013. Whoever wins that bout will probably have to defend the title again before Cruz is even able to compete. What is not known is how this chain of events has affected the current UFC bantamweight champion, and his feelings on having to go under the knife again.
“I’m having my few days of crybaby time… I’ve allowed myself to be mad and be sad, you know, you go through the, ‘why me stage?’ What’s the point, you know?”
Obviously, the pain that Cruz has caused himself can be seen in his word, and it was even more prevalent during the press conference when he started to cry while talking. What makes Cruz the most upset though is not that he will be out of commission for even longer, but what he has caused the UFC and the division he was reigning over.
“This is the toughest thing that I have been through. And I’m completely heartbroken to let down the people who wanted to see me fight, to let down the UFC and to let down anyone in the bantamweight division. I’ll be back.”
It is hard enough to see people at their lowest point, but it may be even harder to see a fighter like this. Fighters pride themselves on being tough guys. They put forth an image that nothing affects them whether it be punches, kick, or elbows. To see a champion, a fighter at the top of his game break down because of an injury is almost surreal. What can keep a man going at a point like this? The fans according to Cruz.
“If the fans can know how much [their support] helps me, they’ll know right now: Thank you guys so much. I do this for you guys and I’m in a hurt spot right now. And the love that I get from the fans right now is really keeping me up and keeping me optimistic. My glass is half full right now because the fans have my back, they want to see me back and that means everything to me.”
Cruz may be broken, but he is not finished. As he proclaimed, he will be back in the octagon to reattain the undisputed championship no matter who has it. The UFC has not stripped him of his title yet, but it is vey possible since it could be up to two years, upon his return, since his last title defense. Cruz may have said that the fans are giving him the strength to move forward, but he can also draw inspiration from GSP who returned from the same injury to reclaim his spot as number one in his division. For now, whoever holds the title may just be a place holder, because “The Dominator” will fight again that’s a guarantee.
What are your thoughts?