UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz had a hard time watching the main event for UFC on Fuel TV 7 because watch is all he could do.
Cruz is still sidelined after having two separate surgeries to repair a torn ACL in his knee, while interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao defended the title against top contender Michael McDonald in England on Saturday.
Currently filling his time as an analyst on Fuel TV, Cruz watched the bantamweight main event in studio and actually shadowboxed throughout the three-and-a-half round affair that saw Barao defeat McDonald with an arm triangle choke to retain the belt.
When it was over, Cruz had his chance during the UFC on Fuel 7 post-fight show to explain what he saw in the fight featuring the interim champ that's gunning for his belt. As impressive as Barao was in victory, Cruz didn't see anything in the fight that he can't prepare for before they square off, hopefully later this year.
"You know nothing really concerned me," Cruz said about Barao when speaking during the post-fight show on Fuel TV. "What I was noticing was the way McDonald chose to fight Barao, and it was pretty much the same problems I thought Barao was going to give him problems with. That is he can't take down Barao, which gives Barao more chances to win. Defense and takedowns is what won this fight for Barao."
Cruz promises a much different fight for the interim champion once he returns to action after rehabbing his knee injury. What Barao did against McDonald, Cruz says he shouldn't expect to do against him.
"I tell you the difference–I fight different than anybody else. I'm not going to stand in front of you, I'm not just looking to counter you, and I'm mixing things up," said Cruz. "On top of that, you take away range with angles and that beats range every day of the week. I can wrestle, I'm going to wrestle this guy, I'm not just going to stand in front of him and strike the whole time.
"I'm going to mix it up and keep him guessing. Faints ruin the entire game of Barao in my opinion and you take away the range by taking away the jab. He's going to be confused when he gets in there. He's not even going to do this (makes a motion that Barao won't touch him)."
Cruz is obviously chomping at the bit to get back in the cage and compete, especially since he currently has to watch another competitor carry around a belt and call himself the UFC bantamweight champion.
If his rehabilitation goes well this time around, Cruz is hopeful for a return this summer—until then, he will just have to continue waiting and watching until he can challenge Barao and determine who truly is the best bantamweight fighter in the world.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.
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