Despite tearing the ACL in his knee, bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz (Pictured) will fulfill his duties as coach on “The Ultimate Fighter: Live.” UFC president Dana White confirmed Cruz’s commitment to ride out the remainder of season during Tuesday’s episode of “UFC Tonight” on FUEL TV.
“Cruz will stay on. Cruz has done a phenomenal job,” White stated.
Cruz was scheduled to defend his throne against rival coach Urijah Faber once filming wrapped on the reality show. Since his injury won’t allow him to compete at UFC 148, there was a possibility producers would replace “The Dominator” with whoever Faber’s new opponent might be.
White’s announcement is music to Team Cruz’s ears, as the remaining contestants on the red squad expressed during Tuesday’s conference call that they would be thoroughly disappointed to be assigned a substitute coach.
Cruz has three fighters participating in the quarterfinals of the lightweight tournament – Justin Lawrence meets Mike Chiesa, James Vick squares off against Joe Proctor and Vinc Pichel faces Al Iaquinta.
The tourney’s last pairing pits two Team Faber members against each other in Chris Saunders and Andy Ogle.
Meanwhile, White also announced Faber will battle a yet-to-be determined opponent for the interim bantamweight crown at UFC 148 while Cruz mends.
‘TUF: Live’ airs Fridays on FX at 10PM ET (7PM PT satellite).