Urijah Faber wants a rematch. Brian Bowles wants a rematch. But before either fighter gets an opportunity to step back in the Octagon with UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz again, they will have to fight it out amongst themselves.
The two former champions will square off at UFC 139 on Nov. 19 in San Jose, Calif.
“Before a possible trilogy can be considered between Urijah Faber and his rival, Champion Dominick Cruz, he will take on one of the division’s truly elite fighters, former bantamweight champion Brian Bowles,” said UFC president Dana White on Thursday. “A win over Faber would be massive for Bowles’ bid to challenge for the belt that was once his. The stakes are high and the fight will be intense.”
Faber (25-5) failed to take the belt off Cruz when the two fought at UFC 132 in July. The two went toe-to-toe for five rounds, but Cruz walked away with a unanimous decision victory.
When he was the WEC featherweight champion, Faber defeated Cruz. He also felt that he had done enough to earn the nod from the judges at UFC 132 and was ready for an immediate rematch if the UFC had put it together.
Instead, he’ll square off with Bowles (10-1), who lost the belt to Cruz at WEC 47 in March of last year. He has since reeled off victories over Damacio Page and Takeya Mizugaki, and was himself calling for a rematch with Cruz.
UFC 139 will be headlined by a heavyweight title bout between returning champion Cain Velasquez and number one contender Junior dos Santos.