Cruz says the injury happened during a sparring session and he knew something was wrong almost instantly.
“I’ve done everything very carefully to make sure that I’m ready for this one,” Cruz on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “[I start sparring] and at the very end of my second round, I threw a right hand and as I throw an overhand right I felt . . . a click in my right shoulder and then I felt my fingers go numb. Right away I knew something separated because you’re not supposed to get blood flow and numbness to your fingers unless it’s a detrimental injury. So I stopped right away, got out, and I literally left that practice knowing that I told my shoulder and went straight to an MRI. My subscapularis is completely torn off and my supraspinatus is 75 percent torn off. So from what I understand, they have to take the tendon and reattach it with a screw of some sort into the bone to get everything reconnected. . . It’s basically an ACL [tear] of the shoulder.”
The former champion could be out of action for at least a year, but more should be known as Cruz recovers.
There is one thing that Cruz says nobody will ever see him do, which is to quit at sports and in life.
“Understanding it really serves no purpose because there is no understanding.,” said Cruz. “It just is what it is. To try to understand it will just take you in a loop that will never end. So I choose to look at this as just the way it is and what can I do with that is the question. With all that being said, how I feel is sadness. Extreme sadness, to be honest. It hurts. I want to cry. But I also know that this is a long road that I’ve had already. I’ve already been down this, I’ve had these injuries. You can attack whatever you want to this situation but it never defeats me and it never will. It’s just part of my journey and it’s going to be part of my legacy. How many people go through life with problems and have to get back up? Life is no different from fighting and that’s why I love fighting so much. Sport is a metaphor to life. . . You never get to quit in life so if you quit in sports, exactly when you quit in sports is exactly when quit at life.”
Whenever Cruz does return to action from the latest injury, it would make his first Octagon appearance since UFC 207 in December of 2016.