Faber wants Barao or Cruz at UFC 175, Nelson hoping to fight MacDonald

Urijah Faber (left) wants a piece of Dominick Cruz at UFC 175 in Las Vegas.

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Everyone wants to know who the headliners for UFC 175 will be. Urijah Faber is throwing his hat in the ring.

Faber wants to be on the Fourth of July weekend show, which will highlight International Fight Week in Las Vegas, his manager Mike Roberts told UFC Tonight’s Ariel Helwani. Faber’s preference is a rematch for the bantamweight title with Renan Barano or a trilogy bout with archrival Dominick Cruz.

Faber lost to Barao at UFC 169 on Feb. 1 in Newark, but it was a controversial stoppage. Referee Herb Dean stopped the fight, giving Barao a TKO, even though Faber held his thumb up to signal he was OK.

More than anything, Faber wants Cruz, who he beat once, but lost to in a bantamweight title fight back in 2011. Cruz has not fought since that year due to multiple injuries. He should be returning over the summer and July 5 is probably as good of a date as any.


Gunnar Nelson is targeting Rory MacDonald for his next fight, Nelson’s coach John Kavanagh told Helwani. Nelson, a top welterweight prospect, is coming off a dominant victory over Omari Akhmedov on March 8 at UFC Fight Night London.

MacDonald is ranked No. 2 among contenders in the latest UFC rankings and Nelson is just 14th, so this match up might be a tad far-fetched. MacDonald is coming off a victory against Demian Maia at UFC 170 on Feb. 22.

Nelson thought he injured his knee in the bout against Akhmedov, but it turned out to be nothing serious. He’s clearly ready to get back in the Octagon in relatively short order.