Dominick Cruz put himself out there on UFC Tonight recently, discussing his recent knee injury and subsequent surgery.

Cruz, who is the current UFC bantamweight champion, hasn’t fought since late in 2011. He was scheduled to meet Urijah Faber after the two served as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter, but a training injury to his knee halted that bout.

I was with a guy who I train with a million times and we were moving, we were doing 50-percent movement skills with each other, shadow boxing, and I was on with my brace. I was moving and I went to hit a pivot and the tissue just popped. My knee felt unstable and shortly after I got off the mat and I said something is wrong and I need to sit down. I took my brace off and iced my knee immediately. I had some thoughts and I just figured there was no way that it happened from just moving. I was just shocked.

Cruz was asked the same question that has been discussed on message boards since news of the injury broke – should the UFC strip him of the title. Considering he was off for several months due to the shooting of TUF, it seems likely the UFC will not take the belt.

It is too early. I just had surgery on Thursday. I hurt my knee the day after Thanksgiving while getting my morning workout in and it popped. I went and got an MRI and I went into surgery that same week and it is important for me to get back. Having to deal with being injured, and then with your family and your friends who ask how long you are out, and then I have to deal with media, and after I deal with the media, I have to see the fans and break their hearts. I have gotten so many tweets since the news got out and I would say 95-percent are very positive, uplifting, saying they’ve got my back. If the fans knew how much that helps me, well they know right now because I do this for them and I am in a hard spot right now and the love that I get from the fans right now is really keeping me up and optimistic. The glass is half full right now because the fans got my back and they want to see me back. Thank you so much for the Twitter love and the fans love right now and I am completely heart broken to let down the people who wanted to see me fight in the UFC. I’ll be back.

Renan Barao, who won the interim title with a victory over Faber, is rumored to be heading for a 2013 meeting with Michael McDonald.