Dominick Cruz pulled out of his bantamweight title fight at UFC 169 on Super Bowl Weekend with a groin tear, UFC president Dana White announced Monday on ESPN.
Cruz has been out for more than two years rehabbing from a pair of knee injuries. White said Cruz has been removed as the promotion's champion and interim title holder Renan Barao has been installed as the UFC's official bantamweight champion.
Barao will defend the title against Urijah Faber the night before the Super Bowl at The Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Faber went 4-0 in 2013, including a second-round submission of Michael McDonald on Dec. 14.
Cruz (19-1) last defended his title on Oct. 1, 2011, with a unanimous decision victory over Demetrious Johnson. While coaching against Faber on Season 15 of "The Ultimate Fighter" and preparing for that fight at UFC 149, Cruz tore his anterior cruciate ligament. He re-tore it months later while rehabbing the first injury.
Barao took Cruz's spot at UFC 149 and beat Faber by unanimous decision to win the interim title on July 21, 2012. Barao has twice since defended that interim title with Cruz out.
UFC 169 also includes Jose Aldo defending his featherweight title against Ricardo Lamas.
UFC 169 FIGHT CARD (as of Jan. 6)
Main card on PPV
Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber (bantamweight championship)
Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas (featherweight championship)
Frank Mir vs. Alistair Overeem
John Lineker vs. Ali Bagautinov
Jamie Varner vs. Abel Trujillo
Prelims on Fox Sports 1
John Makdessi vs. Alan Patrick
Chris Cariaso vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
Nick Catone vs. Tom Watson
Al Iaquinta vs. Kevin Lee
Clint Hester vs. Andy Enz
Tony Martin vs. Rashid Magomedov
Neil Magny vs. Gasan Umalatov