Injury-prone former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz is finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel after another prolonged spell on the sidelines due to injury.

Cruz has already been out of action for 18 months since losing his title to Cody Garbrandt back in December of 2016, with a broken arm being the reason he’s still not able to step back into the Octagon just yet.

“I go see the doctor on Thursday,” Cruz said on ‘The MMA Hour’ show this week. “I should get cleared, and then we’ll have a good case for myself to get back in there as soon as possible. I’m trying to get back in there before the end of the year [2018].”

As for who he wants to fight upon his return, Cruz indicated that he’s looking for a high-level opponent, with Marlon Moraes being one name he specifically mentions as he seeks to position himself back in title contention.

“I like anybody in the top-5 right now. After the amount of time that I’ve been out, I just want to come back [and] face somebody in the top-5 … get a win going and then I want to fight for the belt … That’s kind of what needs to happen. I’m in line, right there … Both [potential] belt-holders (Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw) understand that if they want a fight that’s going to bring eyes to the television… It’s going to be a fight against me in the 135-pound division.”

“I think that [Marlon] Moraes is up there. I think there’s a couple guys… It’s just a matter of when the doctor clears me and when I’m ready to fight. I’m trying to be back before the end of the year… I haven’t been cleared by the doctor, so I’m trying to just listen to the doctor on this one so I don’t postpone my comeback.”

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