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Few fighters in UFC history have had as close an association with injury as Dominick Cruz.

A series of injuries to his knees (among others) robbed the former WEC and UFC bantamweight champion of some of the prime years of his career. Nonetheless, Cruz returned in January of 2016 from his extended lay-off to outpoint T.J. Dillashaw to regain the organisation’s 135-pound title. He followed that with another win, a decision, against longtime rival Urijah Faber before losing for the first time in nine years when he defended the title against Cody Garbrandt.

And now, with the clock slowly ticking towards the two-year anniversary of Cruz’s last fight, the injury plague appears to have struck again, this time ruling him out of a UFC 233 contest with Brazil’s John Lineker.

Cruz’s injury will present an opportunity for a replacement fighter to fill the spot. The UFC were understood to be chasing former champ Cody Garbrandt to fill in though, as John Morgan reports, the Team Alpha Male fighter is still rehabbing a hand injury which isn’t expected to be fully healed until March.