Morning Report: Urijah Faber wishing Dominick Cruz a speedy recovery ahead of war with Renan Barão

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

With the unfortunate news of yet another injury setback to now former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, the UFC has turned to 2013 'Fighter of the Year' candidate Urijah Faber to save the day.

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."

UFC 169 takes place Feb. 1 from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Featherweight champion José Aldo faces Ricardo Lamas in the night's co-main event.

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MEDIA STEW

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TWEETS

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Twitter reaction from the Cruz/Faber news.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Jan. 6 2014)

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via queenskid.

Was Anderson Silva really THAT great?

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.

...

Check out the rest of the post here.

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Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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