Shocking Photo of Dominick Cruz's Surgically Repaired Leg

Andrew SaundersCorrespondent IIJune 7, 2013

While training to defend his bantamweight championship for a fifth time, pound-for-pound great Dominick Cruz became the unfortunate victim of a torn ACL.

Bad news became worse in December when "The Dominator" reinjured himself while rehabbing the surgically repaired muscle.

Fans have speculated about the kind of shape in which Cruz would return, and based on a recently surfaced photo (via MiddleEasy) of the champion, he has got a long way to go.

As you can tell from the included photo, without being able to properly train for an extended period of time, the left leg of Cruz has shrunk down to approximately half the size of its counterpart. 

At the time of his injury, Cruz was coaching a live season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite Urijah Faber. Following the show's conclusion, the duo were scheduled to meet in a rubber match for the belt at UFC 148.

Cruz last competed in October 2011, where he won a unanimous decision over current flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. The win was the 10th straight for the 28-year-old.

During the absence of Cruz, the UFC decided to create an interim championship, which is currently held by Renan Barao. The Brazilian won the strap by defeating Faber at UFC 149. Since that time, the Brazilian has defended his belt against top contender Michael McDonald.

In April, UFC president Dana White confirmed that Cruz will not be stripped of his title, regardless of his length absence from the Octagon.