clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dominick Cruz: The game 'has progressed' past 'uncoachable' Urijah Faber

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Dominick Cruz stole the glasses of a nearby reporter, slipped them on and put on his best analyst voice.

The UFC bantamweight champion was asked to break down the current storyline between him, his next opponent Urijah Faber and the man he just beat for the belt, T.J. Dillasaw.

"Faber was too scared to face T.J. -- plain and simple," Cruz said, wearing his faux analyst spectacles at the EA Sports UFC launch party during UFC 196 fight week in Las Vegas. "And so [Cruz] came back, and being the Cruz he is, beats the guy that Faber was too scared to face. Now Faber has a whole lot to say about Dominick, but Dominick is just gonna wax that ass again."

Cruz will defend the title against Faber in the co-main event of UFC 199 on June 4 in Los Angeles, it was announced at the recent "Unstoppable" press conference. There is no love lost between the two men. UFC president Dana White joked at the same party that the two have hated each other since birth.

Faber represents the only loss on Cruz's record and that came all the way back in 2007. Cruz avenged the loss in 2011. The trilogy fight was supposed to happen a year later, but Cruz tore his ACL and ended up being out almost three years due to injuries.

"With Faber, it's like, it's bigger than me and it's bigger than his goofy self," Cruz said. "It's more about the fans. I've had so many questions about that fight over the years even -- 'When are you gonna shut Faber up?'"

In the time Cruz was out, he was stripped of the belt and Renan Barao defeated Faber for the interim belt. Dillashaw, who was brought up by Faber and Team Alpha Male, ended up winning the belt from Barao. Dillashaw left the team last year and Cruz beat him to win the title back in January.

It has been quite the dramatic storyline and all roads point toward Cruz vs. Faber 3 and that will finally happen this summer.

"He's been in the sport so long, he's got some backing," Cruz said. "People believe in him. I feel like for his fans, I have to give them a chance. Listen, Faber fans. I'll give you a chance, one more chance to try to bask in some sort of glory. He's not going to do it for you, so I'll give you the chance for him."

At the "Unstoppable" press conference, the two jawed back and forth. Faber said Cruz looked "skinny fat" in the fight against Dillashaw, asking him, "What did USADA do to you?" Cruz said Faber looked like Dillashaw's grandfather.

"I saw him in the suit with his penny loafers on," Cruz said. "I was like, 'God, man. Who taught you how to dress?' He looked like a grandfather to me. I didn't even have to think about it, it was just natural because of looking at him."

Cruz (21-1) said Faber needs to stop talking about all the belts he's won, because he has not won one in a long time. "The Dominator" said that Faber isn't beating top-five opponents and that every time he fights someone elite now he loses.

"I don't think he's regressed," Cruz said. "I don't. I don't think he's gotten worse. I think that he's the stayed the same and the game has progressed. That's the difference. I think Faber is uncoachable. I think that anytime somebody goes in there to coach him, he ends up kicking them out, because he has to be the alpha. I think that's been the downfall of his career."

Cruz, 30, said he considered that Faber didn't even really deserve the title shot, but felt like this was the fight to make anyway because of the history. He wants the feud to finally come to rest in three months.

"I'm tired of hearing about it," Cruz said. "Let me put all the questions to rest, all the talk to rest. I don't mind, because I fight anyways. This is what I do. I'm gonna fight anyway."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting