Urijah Faber wants Dominick Cruz next: ‘This has been a long time coming’
It didn’t take long after the main event ended on Sunday night in Boston for Urijah Faber to chime in and make it known that he’s ready to settle his long-standing rivalry with Dominick Cruz as soon as the new champion is healthy again.
The two bantamweights have fought twice previously, splitting the matchups with a win apiece, but before they could compete in a third match in 2012, Cruz suffered the first of many setbacks when he tore his ACL and had to have reconstructive surgery on his knee.
Now, more than three years later, Faber is champing at the bit to get another shot at Cruz and since he’s back to being the bantamweight champion just like he was in 2012, the scenario is looking eerily similar for a third fight.
"He’s only lost to one team, that’s Team Alpha Male. He’s only lost to one guy, that’s me and I feel like I beat him the second time also," Faber told FOX Sports after Cruz defeated Faber’s former teammate TJ Dillashaw by split decision.
"I connected to his chin, I know he feels like he’s hard to hit, I found his chin, his butt found the ground and I’m going to make that happen again. Let’s do it, Dom, this has been a long time coming."
Faber won his most recent fight against Frankie Saenz at UFC 194 and all signs pointed towards a potential title shot against the winner of Sunday’s main event battle.
Faber has history with both competitors, but the Cruz matchup is one that’s been festering for years due to the unfinished business the two had stemming all the way back to their first fight in 2007. Following Cruz’s win, Faber believes the table is finally set for a third and final fight to settle the score once and for all.
"I’ve been sticking around a couple extra years just letting you heal up, buddy. You’re not made for battle," Faber said. "Thank goodness you made it out of this thing hopefully alive, hopefully the foot’s OK. Let’s do this. Old news, new news, let’s get it done."
For his part, Cruz could only shake his head in disbelief that he was being called out by Faber yet again. At the post-fight press conference, Cruz wanted to soak in the moment of his victory before addressing any future matchups or title defenses.
Faber did give Cruz credit for a hard-fought victory over a very tough opponent in Dillashaw and despite their shared disdain for each other, there is certainly a begrudging respect between the two cagey veterans.
"Cruz, you’ve got to give it to him," Faber said. "What a journey he’s been on, he’s a real champion, he’s a true champion.