Former UFC® bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz will return to the Octagon on Saturday, Sept. 27, and he will do so with the backing of Phoenix International Raceway. Cruz, who served as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the March 2012 SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™, will wear shorts adorned with the PIR logo during the fight. Cruz’s 2012 race appearance and the fight sponsorship are the result of a partnership between PIR and Niner Sports & Entertainment.
The fight versus Takeya Mizugaki in Las Vegas marks a return to competition for Cruz after he suffered a major knee injury that kept him out of action for nearly three years. He held the UFC ® bantamweight title for more than two and a half years before the injury forced him to relinquish the belt. Despite his lengthy break from fighting, Cruz remains the 10th-ranked fighter in his classification.
“I can’t wait to get back in the Octagon and compete again, and to do it with the support of my friends at Phoenix International Raceway,” Cruz said. “This has been a long, hard road back, but knowing that everyone in Arizona was behind me made it possible.”
Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Cruz, 29, has ascended to the top of his profession, compiling a 19-1-0 professional record that includes wins over the likes of Demetrious Johnson, Urijah Faber, Scott Jorgensen, Joseph Benavidez and Brian Bowles.
“Dominick is a true Arizona success story, and his hard work and dedication are a tremendous example to fight fans and race fans alike,” said PIR President Bryan R. Sperber. “We are proud to sponsor him in his return to action and all of us at PIR will be cheering him on.”
The fight, which will take place at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, is scheduled to be broadcast live nationally on FOX Sports 1 at 5 p.m. MST (8 p.m. EDT).