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Urijah Faber offers support to injured rival Dominick Cruz

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Dominick Cruz's long-time rival Urijah Faber put their issues aside recently and offered support for the injured bantamweight champion.

Faber said on Tuesday's episode of "UFC Tonight" on Fuel TV that he felt bad for Cruz when he found out Cruz recently underwent a second knee surgery.

"Yeah, I definitely do (feel bad for Cruz)," Faber said. "When it all comes down to basic facts, the guy loves the sport and he works hard. There's a lot of admirable things about him. Having another setback like this is unfortunate.

"I want him to heal up so I can beat him up eventually."

Up next for Faber is a fight against Ivan Menjivar at UFC 157 on Feb. 23, but "The California Kid" said he is still looking forward to completing his trilogy with Cruz.

"I'm going to get it," he said. "I just have to win a couple of fights here against top dudes, like Ivan Menjivar and whoever else, and I'll be back in there.

"I wish him a speedy recovery. I hate to hear it, man. really."

The third Cruz vs. Faber fight was supposed to take place in July, however, Cruz was forced to pull out of the bout in May due to a torn ACL. He underwent knee surgery in June, but he announced last week on "UFC Tonight" that he recently went under the knife again after re-injuring his knee.

"I was going in with the guy I was training with many times, all the time and we were moving, we were doing 50 percent movement drills with each other where basically working with each other shadow boxing ... And on the mat that I was on, with my brace, I don't know man, I was moving and I went to hit a pivot, and the tissue just popped, I had some thoughts like, no way [this happened] just moving, because I've done so much more than that in [physical therapy] with my PT guy. I was shocked that it happened and it just popped."

There's no timetable yet for Cruz's return, however, he hopes to fight again in 2013. The UFC bantamweight champion hasn't competed since hist Oct. 2011 win over Demetrious Johnson.

Faber submitted Cruz via first-round guillotine choke in 2007 at WEC 26 in featherweight action. Cruz then returned the favor when he scored a unanimous decision win over Faber at UFC 132 in 2011.