A pivotal bantamweight fight is now set for the UFC’s year end show on December 30th when former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz will square off against Jimmie Rivera. Cruz last fought at UFC 207 when he lost the 135lb title to the current champ Cody Garbrandt. Actually, Garbrandt had offered him an immediate rematch but Cruz needed some time off to heal a nagging foot injury [plantar fascia tendinitis] that had severely limited him during training camp.
“For the Cody fight, it multiplied by two in both feet, it’s been out of control,” Cruz explained during his appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience.
Cruz said it’s not an excuse for the loss though, and Cody was simply better than him that night, but that he was pretty much unable to walk for the entire training camp.
“No excuses, I want to go ahead and make this clear. [Before fighting Cody Garbrandt] I shot botox into the bottom of my feet. It was an off-the-wall method because there’s no cure for plantar fascia tendinitis. I heard from other doctors it’s an underground method, I was just willing to do anything. I was in so much pain. I would wake up in the morning and have to go on my hands and knees to the bathtub so I wouldn’t put weight on my feet, I’m not kidding, during fight camp. I wouldn’t put weight on my feet because they were too cold so it’s like needles stabbing you. That was for all three of the fights this year, I’ve had to deal with that.”
Meanwhile, his opponent Jimmie Rivera is unbeaten in the UFC and hasn’t lost a fight since 2008. Rivera has also faced some tough opposition in the octagon with victories over Thomas Almeida, Pedro Munhoz, and UFC legend Urijah Faber. The New Jersey native has been calling for a fight with Cruz for awhile now, and made his message crystal clear following his victory over Almeida.
“What I want next is either to fight T.J. for an interim belt if (UFC bantamweight champ) Cody (Garbrandt) is still hurt, or get Cruz off the bench and let’s fight,”