Former champ Brian Bowles (10-1), victorious earlier at the July 2 event over Takeya Mizugaki, recently Tweeted, “hand is good, I want that title shot, I feel I deserve it, and I’m next in line.” Bowles has defeated Mizugaki and Damacio Page since suffering the first loss of his career to Cruz at WEC 47.
UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby, who works with the lighter weight classes, told MMAJunkie that Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (10-1) is also a possibility for Cruz’s next title defense. Johnson is currently healing from a broken leg suffered in his UFC 130 victory over former champ Miguel Torres and holds a 4-1 combined WEC/UFC record with wins over Page, Torres, Kid Yamamoto, and Nick Pace.
Cruz told MMA Weekly he doesn’t care if Bowles or Johnson is next and is focused on clearing out the 135-pound division, with another rematch against Faber also likely in the future.
No date or opponent has been set for Cruz’s next defense, but the posturing will likely continue until a decision is made.
Pictured: Brian Bowles