Dominick Cruz is close to securing his most desired matchup at 135 pounds. What’s more, the UFC bantamweight champion may be doing it on one of the biggest stages 2016 has to offer.
“The Dominator” is currently being pegged to co-headline UFC 207 opposite Cody Garbrandt Dec. 30 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, per Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting. For those unaware, the Dec. 30 pay-per-view event features a main event between Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey — a championship contest expected to become one of the biggest fights in UFC history thanks to the return of the former champion.
Cruz last fought at UFC 199 in June, defeating longtime rival Urijah Faber for the second time. It was a clear-cut unanimous decision for “The Dominator,” who once again avenged the only loss of his pro career. The Alliance MMA standout made his extended return to the Octagon in January, defeating then-champion T.J. Dillashaw via split decision at UFC Fight Night 81 in Boston.
Authoring some of the best footwork in all of combat sports, Cruz spent the better part of five years on the sidelines dealing with numerous injuries to both his ACLs and his groin.
Garbrandt, meanwhile, has quickly made a name for himself at 135 pounds thanks to his uncommon knockout power. Undefeated at 10-0, the 25-year-old striker is 3-0 in 2016, stopping all three of his opponents — including then-top 10 staples Takeya Mizugaki and Thomas Almeida — via knockout in the opening round.
Both Cruz and Garbrandt have been lobbying for a chance to fight one another, leaving former champion Dillashaw to either wait around for his title shot or stay busy by taking a fight in between.