Ex-bantamweight champ Cruz to fight at UFC 233

MMA

Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz will return from a two-year absence to face John Lineker at UFC 233 on Jan. 26 in Anaheim.

The UFC confirmed the 135-pound matchup, following an initial report by The Orange County Register. UFC 233 is slated to take place at Honda Center.

Cruz (22-2) is widely considered the best bantamweight of all time, despite long periods of inactivity due to injury. The 33-year-old is a former WEC and UFC champion, who saw an 11-fight win streak snapped in a decision loss to Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207 in December 2016.

Fighting out of San Diego, Cruz fought three times in 2016 before going to the shelf in 2017 and 2018. He was supposed to fight Jimmie Rivera one year ago at UFC 219, but withdrew with a broken arm.

Lineker (31-8), of Brazil, is known as one of the hardest hitters at 135 pounds. He suffered a loss to current champion T.J. Dillashaw in December 2016, but has won two fights since, against Marlon Vera and Brian Kelleher.

The UFC has not yet announced a main event for UFC 233.

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