It took former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (pictured) 1,091 days to get back in the cage after suffering various injuries. It took Cruz all of 61 seconds to earn a chance to reclaim his throne.
After viciously disposing of Takeya Mizugaki on Saturday at UFC 178, Cruz was granted next dibs at champ T.J. Dillashaw’s crown.
UFC president Dana White made the announcement during the event’s post-fight press conference.
Prior to Saturday, Cruz hadn’t been seen since defending his title against Demetrious Johnson in October 2011. He was stripped of his hardware during his injury-plagued break. First it went to Renan Barao, who subsequently and surprisingly got trounced by Dillashaw.
Dillashaw made his first successful defense by crushing Joe Soto in August.
After bumping his professional record to 20-1, Cruz said he wanted to get back to beating more “Team Alpha Fails” – referencing bitter rival Urijah Faber’s Team Alpha Male, where Dillashaw trains.
Here’s a fun fact, Dillashaw was still two months away from getting TKO’d by John Dodson in the finals of “The Ultimate Fighter 14″ when Cruz beat Johnson. They will now battle to see who the world’s best 135-pounder is.
White did not mention when the bout would take place.