But there’s more to it than the title, there’s settling a score from a few years ago, when Faber, then the WEC featherweight champ, choked Cruz out less than two minutes into the fight.
The friction between the two has only increased leading up to Saturday night’s fight. After stepping on the scales at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Friday afternoon, the UFC bantamweight title fight and the rest of the UFC 132 bouts are now official.
Cruz stepped on the scale at 134 pounds, one pound under the limit for their title fight, while Faber hit the mark at 135 pounds.
“I’ve been waiting for this fight for four years. I’m gonna keep that belt and I’m gonna whoop him tomorrow night,” Cruz said after stepping off the scale. “So all you fans that are booing, be prepared to boo some more.”
Of course, Faber disagrees, feeling that he can do what he did four years ago and take the belt home with him.
“It’s gonna be a war and I’m ready to do battle and have some fun and win that belt.”
The co-main event of the evening features another highly anticipated bout between middleweights Wanderlei Silva and Chris Leben. There is a shared respect between Silva and Leben, but the two heavy-hitters are expected to go toe-to-toe.
Longtime UFC veteran Tito Ortiz is also putting his career on the line on Saturday night when he steps into the Octagon against a younger more modern version of himself in Ryan Bader. Both easily made weight, each stepping on the scale at 205 pounds.
The UFC 132 main card begins at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET on Saturday with the preliminary bouts beginning at approximately 3:15 p.m. PT/6:15 p.m. ET. MMAWeekly.com will have full UFC 132 results and play by play.
Main Bouts (On Pay-Per-View):
-Dominick Cruz (134) vs. Urijah Faber (135)
-Wanderlei Silva (186) vs. Chris Leben (185)
-Ryan Bader (205) vs. Tito Ortiz (205)
-Carlos Condit (170) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (171)
-Dennis Siver (156) vs. Matt Wiman (156)
Preliminary Bouts (On Spike TV):
-Melvin Guillard (155) vs. Shane Roller (155)
-George Sotiropoulos (156) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (155)
Preliminary Bouts (On Facebook):
-Brian Bowles (135) vs. Takeya Mizugaki (136)
-Brad Tavares (186) vs. Aaron Simpson (185)
-Andre Winner (155) vs. Anthnoy Njokuani (156)
-Jeff Hougland (135) vs. Donny Walker (135)