Dominick Cruz to return against Jimmie Rivera at UFC 219

Former UFC champion Dominick Cruz

Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz will begin his path back to the title against Jimmie Rivera. The UFC has officially added the bout to UFC 219, which takes place Dec. 30 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Cruz has been out of action since losing the title against Cody Garbrandt in the co-main event of UFC 207. Prior to that loss, Cruz had been undefeated since falling via submission against Urijah Faber in 2007. He entered the UFC as champion after holding the belt in the WEC. He defended the title twice over Faber and Demetrious Johnson before relinquishing it due to injury. After an extensive layoff, Cruz returned to action in 2016 and defeated T.J. Dillashaw to once again claim the bantamweight championship.

After a failed stint on “The Ultimate Fighter” in 2011, Rivera finally made his UFC debut in 2015. In the Octagon, he has picked up five-straight victories including impressive wins over Faber and Thomas Almeida. He currently holds a 21-1 record with his only loss coming against Jason McLean in 2008.

This bout will be part of the main card of UFC 219. The promotion has not announced a main event for the event.