Heavy is the head that wears the crown. It’s an old saying, yes, but it perfectly describes the three wec champions that will soon be making their way into the UFC in 2011. At the final WEC event, WEC 53: “Henderson vs. Pettis”, WEC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz will defend his title against Scott Jorgensen in a bout that will determine the last-ever WEC Bantamweight Champion as well as the first-ever UFC Bantamweight Champion. But according to a report, Cruz’s debut in the UFC may be postponed by almost half a year, regardless of whether or not he successfully defends his title. Here are all the details.
Here’s what the current top 135-pounder in the world had to say regarding the situation over at MMA Weekly: “The doctors told me you’re going to need surgery, you’re going to need to get [your hand] fixed, and you’re going to be out for six months at least… I just did not want to be out that long. I don’t want to be the kind of champion that just sits out over and over and over, so I just decided to tough it out and take another fight and get the surgery right after this fight… It’s one of those things I’ve been putting off… I’ve been able to do everything I need to do to be 100-percent prepared, and now I’m ready to go into this fight and just do what I’ve got to do.”
I already have a ton of respect for Dominick Cruz thanks to his penchant for putting on fantastic performances, but now I think that Cruz is a true class-act for opting to fight through the pain and end his WEC career as a fighting champion rather than by sitting on the sidelines. Cruz is all heart, and Cruz/Jorgensen should be an amazing fight. Cruz swears that he’ll be good to go, but it’s going to be very interesting to see if this lingering injury plays a factor in the match itself.
I think there’s a strong possibility that this match will go into the later rounds. While both men do have some good finishes on their records, they’re also incredibly tough. If it does end up going into the fourth and fifth rounds, that’s going to be a lot of punches thrown by Dominick Cruz, a lot of pressure being put on that bad hand. Cruz’s punching power might be diminished, or he might start swinging with only one arm. Jorgensen is a good enough fighter to capitalize on any opportunity given to him, so this may help Jorgensen win the match.
Then again, it’s not a guarantee. Dominick Cruz has had a good run as WEC Bantamweight Champion, and he’s unquestionably the best Bantamweight in MMA. It’s just that Jorgensen has been on an equally stellar run lately. This is going to be a super-close battle between two true warriors, so I can’t wait to see it go down live.
And what about you, fans and friends? Do you believe Cruz when he says that this won’t hinder his performance, or do you think the fact that he’s about to take six months off to get surgery on his hand indicates that the hand is a lot worse than he says it is?