Cruz (22-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) faces bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo at UFC 249, his first fight in three and a half years, which marks Cruz’s longest layoff.
While former bantamweight champion Cruz proved ring rust was not a factor for him, his strength and conditioning trainer Dolce said he was more concerned that he was going to have to hit 135 pounds for the first time since December 2016.
“Time out of the octagon – not from the point of view of circular rust, time out of the octagon from the point of view of weight reduction – this is the only challenge I think Dominick has to face” , Dolce told MMA Junkie. “Because I don’t know if Dominick has fallen to 135 since his last weigh-in. Why would he do it? Now I’m friends with Dom. Dom is a smart guy, Dom is a hard working guy, there is no break in Dominick Cruz. Dominick will make the weight.
“It might be more difficult than he expected although he is a brain athlete, I think he has already covered the additional challenge in his weight reduction. I suppose Dominick already knows that it will take place a little more slowly, it will be a little more difficult, we will have to dig a little deeper into the process. If it has already integrated this expectation, this should not be a problem at all. But I must say that it will be more difficult, simply because it is the first time that I come back under the wire. “
Cruz is a big 135 pounds, who will have a big size and will reach the advantage over Cejudo. He started his career at 145 pounds, but since falling to bantamweight in 2008, he has never lost weight.
UFC 249 takes place at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. Cruz against Cejudo co-titles the main payment card at the session, which follows the preliminaries on ESPN and ESPN +.