Dominick Cruz
Cruz is regarded by many as the greatest bantamweight of all time Getty

Team Alpha Male coach Justin Buchholz has backed bantamweight kingpin Dominick Cruz to come back stronger from his latest setback.

Cruz was set to face Jimmie Rivera at UFC 219 on 30 December in what was ideally a number one contender fight for new champion TJ Dillashaw's bantamweight title.

However, "The Dominator" suffered a broken arm ruling him out of the year-ending event, with John Lineker stepping in to take on Rivera.

Buchholz, who has long been in the opposing corner against Cruz as a coach, says things are not looking good as of now for the former bantamweight champion.

"I would say it's not looking good for Cruz right now with the amount of injuries he's had and now a broken arm? You know what I mean?" he told IB Times UK in Singapore.

Cruz has long suffered from injuries throughout his career, having undergone surgery thrice for multiple torn ACLs effectively resigning him to just five fights in the last six years.

Despite his setbacks, however, Cruz was able to return in January 2016 and win the bantamweight title against Dillashaw.

He would defend it against Urijah Faber before losing to Cody Garbrandt via unanimous decision at UFC 207 in December 2016, where he later revealed he was suffering from plantar fasciitis on both his feet.

The 32-year-old would proceed to take extra time off just to heal from his condition and eventually return to the octagon as his coach Eric Del Fierro claimed in April that Cruz was in peak form.

It makes the latest setback even more of a blow, but Buchholz believes a broken arm is nothing compared to what Cruz has suffered before, backing him to come back even stronger.

"A broken arm is not [nothing compared to] three ACL surgeries," Buchholz added. "But he came back from that and he's just a gritty competitor. I think it's definitely slowed him down and delayed him but I don't think it's going to stop him by any means.

"I think he's going to come back stronger, that's usually what happens when he does have a lay-off. Cruz is just a consummate professional and great competitor and I don't think it's going to stop him, he's been through a lot worse and he'll come back better."