After a two year absence since losing his bantamweight title, Dominick Cruz is set to return to the Octagon.

Announced by the UFC through social media, Cruz will take on the current #6 ranked contender at 135 lbs in John Lineker at UFC 233 on January 26th.

Cruz (22-2) has not fought since losing to Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207 in December 2016. The loss to Garbrandt marked the first time that ‘The Dominator’ had lost in nearly 10 years and brought an end to a 13-fight winning streak that included wins over the likes of Urijah Faber, Demetrious Johnson and TJ Dillashaw. Cruz had been expected to return to the cage last December but a broken arm ruled him out of a proposed fight with Jimmie Rivera.

Lineker (31-8) is widely touted as one of the hardest hitters in the bantamweight division and is currently on a two-fight win streak. The Brazilian, nicknamed ‘Hands of Stone’, last fought at UFC 224 in May where he scored a third-round knockout over Brian Kelleher.

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UFC 233 is now currently expected to feature:

  • Henry Cejudo (C) vs. TJ Dillashaw (bantamweight champion) – flyweight title fight
  • Dominick Cruz vs. John Lineker
  • Ben Askren vs. Robbie Lawler
  • Alexander Hernandez vs. Francisco Trinaldo
  • James Vick vs. Paul Felder
  • Cortney Casey vs. Cynthia Calvillo
  • Kron Gracie vs. Alex Caceres
  • Joanne Calderwood vs. Ariane Lipski
  • Marion Reneau vs. Yana Kunitskaya
  • Anthony Hernandez vs. Markus Maluko
  • Alexandra Albu vs. Emily Whitmire