Dominick Cruz hasn't fought in 962 days, but he's NOT retired ... he wants his belt back, now -- and he's ready to go through UFC champ Henry Cejudo.
The 34-year-old former champ has battled serious injuries -- a broken arm, torn shoulder ligaments -- and hasn't fought since UFC 207 in December 2016 ... but when TMZ Sports talked to Dom in L.A., he was crystal clear ... he ain't hanging up his gloves.
"I'm definitely not done. I'll absolutely be back."
Cruz is the 2x UFC bantamweight champion and the longest titleholder in the division's history -- and he wants his strap back.
"I want the title. The current titleholder right now called me out."
Remember, Cejudo called Cruz out after his UFC 238 win over Marlon Moraes in June.
"[Henry's] the champion, we're both Arizona natives. We're both on the same national wrestling team," Cruz told us ... "If he wants to be the best, he has to beat the longest reigning champion in the division."
"Anybody who has the title, if you wanna be the best, you should be trying to fight me."
FYI -- If the fight's gonna go down, it'll have to wait. Cruz and Cejudo both have injured shoulders -- and will be sidelined til 2020.