When asked about his thoughts on cage rust, Cruz was dismissive of the idea, telling Inside MMA:
I feel that cage rust is something that's brought up to give odds makers something to bet on. I think you can work it completely out of your system as long as you're in training camp and training correctly. The biggest part about ring rust is the mental part. I think a lot of that comes from not being able to control your adrenaline, not being able to understand where you are at, not being able to relax at the right times in the fight when you need to, and you can figure all of that out, not only mentally by training your mind, but in camp you put yourself in those predicaments and rough situations. You fight out of them and that's how you prepare for ring rust. It won't be an issue and I will be ready on the night of the fight.
Beside cage rust, odds makers and fans will consider how the surgery and rehab will affect Cruz's fighting style. Cruz's footwork has often been lauded as one of the major contributors to his 19-1 record as a professional fighter.
Cruz feels his footwork will be just as good, if not better than when he last fought:
You know my footwork is as good as ever. The biggest thing is getting your timing back, getting your rhythm back... your reaction time without thinking. That's what takes time to get back and that's what the camp is going to be about. But as for footwork, it's all exactly where I left it and I've got some new tricks up my sleeve.