There’s nothing to get excited about when considering Faber, according to Cruz.
“I was never hyped up about the rivalry,” Cruz told MMAWeekly Radio. “Nobody gets hyped up about not liking somebody. Either you like somebody or you don’t.”
Despite the history between the champ and his mortal enemy from Team Alpha Male, Cruz feels there’s no reason to get excited other than being able to defend his title. The fact that Faber is the one challenging for it makes no difference.
There’s no secret the two 135-pound fighters don’t like each other. Their trash talk has circulated in the media as much as any two fighters in recent memory. Once the two coach The Ultimate Fighter Live, the trash talk will continue.
This time it’ll be face-to-face banter, every day.
“I (going to) see him every single day and I have to deal with him,” Cruz said in anticipation of the upcoming TUF season on the FX network. “I’m going to talk crap to him, and he’s going to talk crap to me.”
Cruz will defend his bantamweight title against Faber for the second time on July 7 at UFC 148 in Las Vegas. The reality show will intertwine with Cruz’s camp in preparation for the fight, and the champ scheduled his time accordingly to allow for little distraction.
Cruz will get what he calls his “me time” to prepare for Faber when he’s not coaching.
“After the show, we’re going to have time where it’s just ‘me time’ (and) I just focus on my own camp,” he said. “I should have at least eight weeks, which is plenty of time to get ready for a five-round fight.
“It’s about teaching (the fighters), giving them everything I’ve got, and at the end of the day I can also get my workouts in.”
Coaching will be a challenge to the bantamweight champion, and challenges aren’t easy to overcome. But that’s fine, Cruz said. Challenges aren’t supposed to be simple.
Bring on the coach’s clipboard. Cruz is ready.
“It’s going to be a challenge,” he said, “but if it wasn’t challenging everyone would do it.”