Image Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea | USA TODAY Sports
The STATIC series has been a great look into some of MMA’s greatest rivalries. On the most recent episode of STATIC we dive into the rivalry between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber, which could be argued as the greatest rivalry in MMA south of 170 pounds.
It all started in 2007 at WEC 26, where Urijah Faber defended his WEC Featherweight title against an undefeated Cruz, winning by guillotine choke in just over one minute.
Fast-forward four years to 2011, Cruz had won eight straight fights and became the WEC and UFC Bantamweight champion. The two would finally meet again at UFC 132, this time 10 pounds lighter and with Cruz as champion. Cruz would take home a unanimous decision victory and the belt, making it one fight a piece.
In 2012 it seemed like the rubber match would happen; Cruz and Faber would coach season 15 of “The Ultimate Fighter” against one another, which would conclude with a fight between the coaches for the belt at UFC 148. However, Cruz would fall victim to an ACL tear, causing him to not only pull himself from the fight, but leave unfinished business with Faber.
Cruz has yet to compete since, while Faber remains to hunt UFC gold, but continues to fall just short. And while their rivalry has dulled out, we do know that these men will eventually meet for a third time to settle the score.