• UFC 139

Faber eyes TUF rivalry with Dominick Cruz

ESPN staff
November 20, 2011

Urijah Faber has been confirmed as the next challenger to Dominick Cruz's UFC bantamweight title, and the California Kid has encouraged the UFC to make the fight a climax to a TUF series.

After a disappointing UFC debut win over Eddie Wineland and a decision defeat to Cruz, Faber used UFC 139 to finally show the world the kind of talent WEC fans have been witnessing for years. Dropping Brian Bowles in round two, Faber went to work to secure a guillotine choke.

UFC president Dana White confirmed after the bout that Faber has now booked a title rematch with Cruz, in what will be the duo's third encounter. Faber won the first via submission, before being outpointed in the sequel.

"He's in," White said. "I think Urijah looked good tonight."

Cruz is currently nursing a hand injury, so it could make sense for the UFC to give the world's most explosive bantamweights the added exposure of a TUF series, which would see them coach against one another before fighting in the Finale.

White sparked intrigue with his post-fight comments, during which he said: "We've got some ideas we were getting together tonight and talking about. We've got to talk to Urijah and Cruz first. Cruz just had hand surgery, so he's out for a little bit, but we have an idea. We have a plan."

Should that plan be a lucrative TUF rivalry, Faber admits he is well up for it: "Let's do it," roared the Californian.

"The belt is one thing. The other thing is people have the idea that Dominick is the best guy out there. He's not tougher than I am. I know that, and I don't feel like he proved that he was. I can't wait to get in there and fight again for the belt and show everyone who the man is."

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