Four times a winner in 2013, Faber had a career year while his chief rival licked his wounds on the sidelines. Just when things looked to be turning the corner for Cruz, a headlining Pay-Per-View title bout only weeks away, fate offered another cruel setback. As if a new injury wasn't enough, Cruz' title reign was finally taken off life support, officially crowning Renan Barão as the division's true champion. What's more, Cruz has been removed from the promotion's divisional rankings all together. Not even Faber would wish that run of luck on him.
"I feel for the guy," Faber said of Cruz to FOX Sports. "We don't really like each other, but we've had some communication throughout the years and I've talked to him about this and we still want to fight each other. There's no doubt, the guy's too stubborn not to get back on the horse and heal up eventually. I'll be cheering for him to heal up so I can punch him again."
As for the matter at hand, Faber isn't letting the past damper his plans for fighting Barão on short notice. The pair first met for the interim bantamweight title back in Jul. 2012, Barão walking away with the strap and a unanimous decision.
"I think it was a really close fight the last time and barring a few punches and kicks here and there it was an uneventful fight. I'm going to make this fight eventful, I'm going to make it exciting, I'm going to let it all hang out and I know he's going to do the same," Faber said. "I'm just going to be a whole different fighter and he's going to have to be because I'm going to be bringing it."
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Decent proposal. World Series of Fighting wants to hold a winner take all (gate and PPV) event pitting its top talent against that of Bellator.
Dana breaks the news on Cruz plus an Anderson Silva update.
AXS' best of 2013.
Highlights from UFC Fight Night 34.
Fighters on who has influenced them the most in their careers.
EFC's top submission and KO of 2013.
Twitter reaction from the Cruz/Faber news.
Heart-broke to hear about @TheDomin8r injury. Wanted to see his ACL return fight! Hope the new injury is not in relation. Get well champ :-)— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 6, 2014
Sorry to hear buddy :( I'm always pulling for you @TheDomin8r— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) January 6, 2014
@UrijahFaber congrats buddy. Good luck.— Matt Hughes (@matthughes9x) January 6, 2014
Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) January 6, 2014
Congrats @urijahfaber on fighting for the belt again. Bring it home!— Roy Nelson (@roynelsonmma) January 6, 2014
Joseph Benavidez (@JoeJitsu) January 7, 2014
Sucks for Dominick. But Faber taking a fight on 3 weeks notice is gangster.— Stipe Miocic (@smiocic) January 6, 2014
Was excited to see Cruz perform again it's been a while guy can't catch a break #healup— Sergio Pettis (@sergiopettis) January 6, 2014
Damn man, feel terrible for Dom Cruz. Could be an interesting fight the way Urijah has been fighting. Hope to see Cruz healthy again.— Marcelino Evil (@KCBanditMMA) January 6, 2014
Feel for the @TheDomin8r on the injury, was really looking forward to that fight. Heal up champ!— STORMIN NORMAN PARKE (@norman_parke) January 6, 2014
Claudia Gadelha (@ClaudiaGadelha_) January 6, 2014
How unfortunate for Dominik Cruz. But I'm excited that Uriah Faber'll b fighting Barao, Uriah's 1 of my fav fighters! http://t.co/lmBuEHSEd4— Carla Esparza (@CarlaEsparza1) January 6, 2014
Don't get me wrong I feel horrible for Cruz and wish he didn't get injured but fuck man numb it or something and fight it's been two years— Cody Bollinger (@CodyBollinger) January 6, 2014
josh hill (@gentlemanjhill) January 6, 2014
Silva in rehab.
Muito obrigado pelo carinho de todos, vou ficar bom eu prometo a vocês que vou .. http://t.co/3nqNAlwkRZ— Anderson Silva (@SpiderAnderson) January 6, 2014
Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) January 7, 2014
Cub vs. Crusher?
Send Cowboy some fan mail.
@Cowboycerrone I could use a new truck! Can you also not shoot me?— isaac vallie-flagg (@IKEVF) January 6, 2014
That's no Myspace angle.
Alexander Gustafsson (@AlexTheMauler) January 6, 2014
I still like Pettis in this one.
Anthony Pettis (@Showtimepettis) January 6, 2014
The old 'respond to a tweet six weeks later' trick.
Sarah Kaufman (@mmasarah) January 7, 2014
Announced yesterday (Jan. 6 2014)
Dennis Bermudez vs. Jimy Hettes at UFC 171
Jessica Andrade vs. Julianna Pena at UFC 171
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via queenskid.
Silva's reign came to a shocking halt last week, and we may never see him in the octagon again. He is, in many fan's minds, considered the GOAT. I have a certain amount of respect for what he's done in his career, but was he really that great? I mean, the level of competition that he's faced is not even near what other champions faced in more competitive divisions. Look at how stacked the competition is at HW LWH and WW. We get juicy match ups every single time. From the list of fighters that Jon Jones has faced, and the fights for Cain Velasquez. But who has Silva faced that is really that great? I'd say the only one that's respectable on that list is Dan Henderson. VItor? But that was pre TRT, and pretty boy Rich Franklin wasn't exactly scaring anyone. Chael Sonnen? Really? Why was he fighting AS or Bone Jones in the first place? Only the MMA gods know that one.
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