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Next Fights for Dominick Cruz and Conor McGregor?

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Dominick Cruz

Before his fight against Takeya Mizugaki, Cruz last stepped foot into the Octagon on October 1, 2011 in a win against Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson.

A lot has happened in that time: two fighters have since held the bantamweight belt and Johnson became the reigning, defending and dominant Flyweight champion.

The nature of Cruz’s various injuries and the time he was out of action led to a number of critics wondering exactly whether Cruz would regain the dominance he had in his 20 previous MMA fights.

He certainly had his work cut out for him in facing Mizugaki, a fighter who was riding a five-fight win streak and firmly established himself as a top ten Bantamweight in the process.

However, it took just one minute for Cruz to show everyone that he is as good as has ever been after he became the first fighter to stop Mizugaki in the UFC.

That win not only earned Cruz his first ever Performance of the Night award, but it also put him back into the top ten in a big way.

The win also showed another important thing for Cruz and the UFC Bantamweight champion – Dominick Cruz is ready for a title shot right now.

He was forced to vacate the title as a result of his long absence, which was then held by Brazilian Renan Barao, who lost the title to TJ Dillashaw in May.

Cruz has already voiced his desire to fight Dillashaw when he said in his post-fight interview that he wanted to go after “Alpha Fails”. That was an insulting play on words for the Alpha Male gym out of which Dillashaw and Cruz’s traditional arch-nemesis Urijah Faber train.

A title shot against Dillashaw is the most appropriate next fight for Cruz for a vast array of reasons, but there is one that stands heads and shoulders above the rest.

Cruz never officially lost his title.

Stripping Cruz of the bantamweight title was the right thing to do since it is unfair to hold up a division by being inactive for years.

However, that inactivity is now over and Cruz has showed that the injuries the previously plagued him have failed to slow him down.

Put it another way, the Dominick Cruz that ran through Takeya Mizugaki is the same, or maybe even better, Dominick Cruz that was previously the undisputed WEC and UFC Bantamweight champion.

He passed the Mizugaki test with flying colours, so now it is only right that Cruz gets a shot at reclaiming the belt that lost for reasons outside of his control.

A Dillashaw vs. Cruz fight would also likely get major Pay Per View numbers, given the traditional rivalry between Cruz and the Alpha Male camp.

Trash talk between Cruz, Dillashaw and his teammate Urijah Faber will likely be plentiful, which would result in massive hype and, in turn, large PPV numbers and revenue for the UFC.

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