UFC president Dana White had lunch with Dominick Cruz recently and believes the UFC bantamweight champion is on track to return in early 2014.
Cruz, recovering from back-to-back knee surgeries, has been on the sidelines for almost two years now.
In the mean time, the UFC has created an interim title, which will be defended at UFC 165 when Renan Barao faces Eddie Wineland.
White hopes that is the last time it is defended and Cruz is back.
“We are expecting his return at the beginning of the year,” White stated. “If he can’t return at the beginning, we are going to have to make a decision.”
That “decision” could be to make either Barao or Wineland the undisputed champion of the division, something Barao already believes he is.