Many things are on the mind of UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz as he prepares to finally return to action after two years away from the Octagon.

One of those is not any “cage rust,” as Cruz recently told Inside MMA. “The Dominator” will face interim UFC champion Renan Barao at UFC 169 in February.

“I feel that cage rust is something that’s brought up to give odds makers something to bet on,” said Cruz, who has had two knee operations since his last fight. “I think you can work it completely out of your system as long as you’re in training camp and training correctly.”

Cruz (19-1) last competed in late 2011, claiming a decision from now-UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. He has defeated the likes of Urijah Faber, Scott Jorgensen and Joseph Benavidez in the last few years in both the UFC and WEC.

“The biggest part about ring rust is the mental part,” Cruz said. “I think a lot of that comes from not being able to control your adrenaline; not being able to understand where you are at.

“You can figure all of that out in camp (if) you put yourself on those predicaments and rough situations.”