UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz's title reign is in serious jeopardy if he can't beat his injury woes and make it back into the ring by the start of next year.

The 28-year-old hasn't fought in nearly two years due to injury and while the UFC has created an interim title in the meantime, UFC President Dana White wants to see a unification fight soon.

Speaking at the UFC 165 conference call, White shared that he had met up with Cruz earlier that month and that he had been given assurances he'd be ready to go. However, White also said if he can't then a decision would have to be made.

"[Cruz] came in here a few weeks ago and had lunch with me and Lorenzo [Fertitta - UFC CEO], and he was very confident he'd be ready to go at the beginning of the year," said White.

"We're expecting [Cruz's] return at the beginning of the year, and if he can’t return at the beginning of the year, then we’re going to have to make a decision."

The current interim champion, Renan Barao is due to defend his title at UFC 165 against Eddie Wineland knowing that a victory will set him on the path to becoming the official champion.

When asked about Cruz, Barao said: "I mean no disrespect to him, but from the moment I won this belt, and I have defended it once, I’ve considered myself champion for certain.”

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